WME/IMG has turned to NBA veteran Michael Ma to run its newly launched WME/IMG China joint venture.

Ma spent 13 years with the NBA, most recently as the league’s VP of global strategy. He was a key player in developing the sport’s presence in China. At WME/IMG China he will be based in Beijing.

“Michael brings not only a deep knowledge of the Chinese market, but also incredible experience in cultivating brands within China through his work with the NBA ,”said WME/IMG CEOs Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell. “We’re looking forward to working alongside Michael to expand our current business in China while creating new opportunities for our clients and partners in one of our fastest growing markets.”

WME/IMG China was formed in June by a Sequoia Capital China-led investment group that includes Tencent, FountainVest Partners and Focus Media. WME/IMG China is focused on expanding the company’s sports and entertainment operations in the world’s most populous country.

“Michael will provide great leadership to the WME/IMG team in China as they look to grow the company’s footprint there,” said Neil Shen, founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China.

WME/IMG already has a toehold in the market with various golf, tennis and fashion events. It also reps such as tennis star Li Na. The UFC, the mixed martial arts league that WME/IMG acquired earlier this year for $4 billion, seems ripe for exploitation in the market.