Glitzy Residency Is the Next Step in Harlem Globetrotters' Rebound

It's a whole new hoops experience

Long-term residencies are all the rage in live music. Such a strategy might sound like an odd fit for a pro basketball team. But the legendary Harlem Globetrotters are no ordinary hoopsters.

Renowned for high-energy exhibitions with wild court antics and seemingly impossible trick shots, these dudes surely qualify as rock stars. They offer spirited entertainment, rather than grueling competition.

To reach a new generation of fans, the Globetrotters will stage a 10-day August event at American Dream, an indoor amusement park in New Jersey.

The extravaganza will include meet and greets, skills clinics for kids, merchandise and interactive programs.

Naturally, the Globetrotters will take on their famously long-suffering rivals, the Washington Generals.

Can't imagine who'll win those matchups. No idea at all.

The residency paves the way for the Globetrotters to experiment with a new format to replicate in other markets worldwide, according to Keith Dawkins, president of the team and Herschend Entertainment Studios.

In anticipation of their 100th anniversary in 2026, the iconic squad is transforming from a "tour only" business to a multifaceted entertainment brand to reach more people at greater scale.

"All of our moves over the last few years have been geared towards two ideas: reaching the audience wherever they are, and diversifying the way we do business—in other words, diversifying revenue streams," says Dawkins. "We believe that those two ideas support each other, but we had to reimagine the way that we look at ourselves to get there."

To that end, the Globetrotters have struck several new deals. These include American Dream, in which the Globetrotters found a liked-minded partner focused on connecting with kids and families in immersive ways.

A separate agreement with Hearst resulted in a return to television with the Emmy-nominated Harlem Globetrotters: Play It Forward.

Before that, the team had largely faded from public consciousness. These days, they're back in the game, forging deals with Jersey Mike's, Spalding IMGMicrosoft, Comic Relief USA, Viral Nation and the U.S. State Department.

Dawkins says The Globetrotters have a growing content development slate to bring more stories to the marketplace.

"I'm excited about the overall new trajectory of our business. We still want to be the beloved global IP that brings joy, hope, possibilities and innovation to everyone that we touch. The only difference is that now we are doing all that we can to connect with a larger number of people in a variety of different ways."

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