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SBD Global/August 26, 2014/Franchises

FC Zenit Putting Together Basketball Team For Play In Int'l VTB League

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A new basketball squad will be formed in St. Petersburg as part of a club structure that runs the flagship football squad Zenit. FC Zenit's sponsor, the natural gas giant Gazprom, may also provide funding for the basketball squad, according to press reports. A source in FC Zenit told SBD Global that a new department has been formed in the club, which will be in charge of running the new basketball squad. The new squad is being formed on the basis of the defunct Moscow region side Triumf, which went bankrupt last summer. Several former Triumf players are moving to St. Petersburg. The city was eager to acquire a new basketball squad after Spartak, which represented the city in the national league and the int'l VTB league, closed down last July. BC Zenit's home arena will be former Spartak venue Sibur-Arena.

SPONSORSHIP SUPPORT: Gazprom, which sponsors FC Zenit and the UEFA Champions League, could also become the new basketball club's sponsor, according to media reports. However, a spokesperson for Gazprom said that he did not have any information on that at this point. The VTB League published the '14-15 lineup, which includes BC Zenit alongside 16 other squads from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.
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