SBD/Issue 200/Franchises

Nets Erect Billboard Near MSG Featuring Prokhorov, Jay-Z

Jay-Z, Prokhorov Billboard Is On One Of
The Biggest Advertising Spaces In N.Y.

Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has "purchased billboard space near Madison Square Garden that will display a massive image of the Russian billionaire and Nets minority owner Jay-Z, with completion scheduled just before the start of free agency" tonight at midnight, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The 222-by-95-foot billboard "sporting a Nets logo will picture Jay-Z and Prokhorov side-by-side" under the heading, "The Blueprint For Greatness." Sources indicated that the "signage is strategically placed" within the sight line of the Knicks' offices, "ramping up tensions between the teams with free agency looming." Nets CEO Brett Yormark said, "That billboard is the anchor to an aggressive marketing platform for key transit hubs from Manhattan to Newark. It's a pretty aggressive campaign around free agency. It's one of the biggest advertising spaces in the city. What better place to make a statement" (ESPN.com, 6/29). In New Jersey, Al Iannazzone notes the mural is "part of an ad campaign that will run through transit hubs from Penn Station to Newark." Yormark added, "When you think of the best of business and the best of entertainment you think of Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov. Together they truly are going to define the blueprint for greatness as it relates to this franchise" (Bergen RECORD, 6/30). The "Blueprint For Greatness" slogan is a takeoff of Jay-Z's "Blueprint" album series (N.Y. POST, 6/30).

FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE: Prokhorov recently hired Irina Pavlova to join the Nets as President of Onexim Sports & Entertainment, and she said her "role is to bridge the gap between the management here in the states and the Moscow office." Pavlova: "The way I see it is: I’m here to facilitate everything that needs to get done to get us a championship team. I think, at times, it involves translating some cultural communication differences; other times it’s just gathering information and transferring it the right way. Basically, I’m a conduit for information flow -- that’s my main goal, to make sure everything runs smoothly." She added, "I’m not here to meddle. The team has great management, and I’m not here to tell them how to do things. I’m here to make their jobs easier, to facilitate any support they feel they need and to make sure everyone is in the loop regarding any concerns or issues that come up. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m replacing anyone -- I’m definitely not. I am just here as an addition" (NBA.com, 6/28).

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