MasterCard buys Olympic arena rights

NEW YORK -- The Beijing basketball arena where NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant helped return U.S. men's basketball to Olympic gold is being renamed for an American company.

China's 18,000-seat Olympic basketball arena is going to be called the MasterCard Center, the Purchase, N.Y.-based payments company says.

It's the first 2008 Olympic Games venue and first arena in Beijing to sell naming rights, a practice common in the U.S. but rare in a country where the government owns most sports complexes.

The move is part of MasterCard's effort to expand its international business and establish itself in the huge Chinese market. Already, nearly 60 percent of its revenue comes from overseas.

The renaming will become official Jan. 21