SBD/January 16, 2014/Franchises

Kushchenko Taking Larger Role With Nets As Razumov's Involvement Appears To Fade

Nets BOD member Sergey Kushchenko in recent months has been "gradually becoming a bigger presence around the franchise," according to Tim Bontemps of the N.Y. POST. Meanwhile, Onexim Group CEO Dmitry Razumov, who heads team Owner Mikhail Prokhorov's investment company, "has receded into the background." Prokhorov's "point man" until now "with regards to the Nets had been Razumov." But it appears Kushchenko is "beginning to step into the role Razumov once held." Kuschenko, who has been a BOD member since '11, "unexpectedly attended a practice and game in Brooklyn last month during one of the team's scheduled board meetings, and will presumably watch" today's game in London against the Hawks with Prokhorov. Kushchenko yesterday said of his role with the team, "It doesn't change a lot. From the very beginning, I was involved. We discuss every move. We talk a lot about everything." Bontemps notes Kushchenko has an "extensive basketball background," having "spent over a decade as a successful basketball executive in Russia" (N.Y. POST, 1/16).

BUILDING LONDON BRIDGES
: In New Jersey, Andy Vasquez writes there "hasn't been anything normal about the buildup" to the Hawks-Nets game in London. Social media has shown Nets players "fanning out across the city and taking in all it has to offer." There also have been a "slew of corporate and league events as the Nets help promote the NBA abroad" (Bergen RECORD, 1/16). Nets CEO Brett Yormark appeared on Bloomberg TV's "Countdown" from London yesterday to discuss the game against the Hawks at the O2 Arena. Yormark said the team considers London "our home away from home" after having played there before. He added in terms of marketing the team, "winning in general for me isn’t the end-all," and the team is in the "entertainment business, so we sell fun." Yormark: "But obviously, winning helps." Yormark said of the Nets becoming a global brand, "I don't look at it from a business perspective, at least initially. I look at it as, can we build a brand? Can we build a halo around the team that speaks to audiences all over the world? And that's our goal. We advocate being global. ... Ultimately, we'll be able to monetize it" ("Countdown," Bloomberg TV, 1/15).
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