Beijing recruits LA Lakers to promote city tourism


BEIJING — Beijing tourist authorities have enlisted US basketball player Kobe Bryant and his team the Los Angeles Lakers to promote China’s capital during home games, state media reported on Saturday.

Images of the Forbidden City and other historical sites in Beijing will be splashed around the Staples Center in Los Angeles when the Lakers play at home, the China Daily reported, in an effort to lure more visitors to the city.

Bryant will attend at least one promotional event under the deal signed with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism, the paper added.

“We have become a Lakers partner for the new season,” Gu Xiaoyuan, deputy director of the tourism bureau, told the English-language daily.

“There will be many advertisements for Beijing in the Lakers’ home court throughout the season.”