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Volume 6 No. 214

Leagues and Governing Bodies

With the NBA Brooklyn Nets being owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, and playing a regular-season game in London this season, the club "has sporting ambitions to become a prime NBA brand" in these new markets, according to Bill Wilson of the BBC. Nets CEO Brett Yormark said, "It is a priority market both for ourselves and the NBA, but it is still at a developmental stage. Having said that, I was recently in Russia meeting with 65 companies there who wanted to know how they could get involved with the NBA." The U.K., along with China, "is one of the more advanced markets outside the US," and the Nets have commercial ties with Barclays and other British sponsors such as Cushman & Wakefield, and National Grid. The NBA also has U.K. offices in west London. Yormark said, "It is the gateway to Europe -- it is arguably the business center of Europe and people here want to learn more about basketball." With the Nets coming to London to play a regular season game at the O2 arena on Jan. 16, Yormark said the U.K. capital is also "a manageable flight for our team -- comparable to a west coast flight in the U.S." Yormark: "The U.K. is a very important market as we continue to globalize -- we want to be very active here." Yormark added that the Nets "are looking at the possibility of cross-promotion with the English Premier League" (BBC, 10/14).

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday "appointed an interim management committee to take control of the Pakistan Cricket Board," according to the PTI. Sharif announced the "necessary amendments in the PCB Constitution to effect the supersession by the interim committee." The interim committee comprises acting PCB Interim Chair Najam Sethi, former Chair Shaharyar Khan, "former captain Zaheer Abbas, ex-player Haroon Rasheed and former national team manager Naveed Cheema." The move to "appoint an interim committee was expected for a while" since Sethi was "unable to exercise full powers because of a judgement by the Islamabad High Court in August on a Constitutional Writ Petition challenging the election of his predecessor Zaka Ashraf" (PTI, 10/15).

NBA China and former NBA player Yao Ming on Tuesday announced a partnership to develop and operate the first NBA Yao School in Beijing. The announcement was made at the MasterCard Center in Beijing attended by NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA China CEO David Shoemaker and Ming. The NBA Yao School, launching in February, will provide after-school basketball training and fitness programs for boys and girls up to age 16. The school aims to teach the importance of teamwork, leadership and communication. The NBA will create the basketball training curriculum and operations manual, and select a technical director to manage the program. Yao will be responsible for developing and operating the school. NBA players will make visits to the school to provide instruction on basketball techniques, strength and conditioning, nutrition and player development. The first program will launch at the Wukesong Basketball Park in February and run through May (NBA). Also, The's Scott Howard-Cooper wrote on the Hangtime blog that Stern "raised the possiblity" that the league will adjust the start time for some games in an effort to appease fans outside of North America. Stern said, “I think that the NBA is going to have to wrestle over the next decade as more and more of our viewing audiences are outside the United States is what’s the best time for games to be played so that those fans can enjoy them live as opposed to having to get up in China to watch an NBA game at 7 o’clock in the morning. I think that’s a fun problem that we’re going to be addressing because so much viewing is happening outside the United States now.” A dramatic change "would obviously be met with resistance from fans" in the U.S. and Canada, along with "some of the teams themselves" (

Australian Sports Commission Chair John Wylie said women's sport is a “rising force” that is “under-appreciated” by the corporate world in Australia, according to Rupert Guinness of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. As part of its Australia's Winning Edge '12-22 initiative launched last year as a “comeback plan” following the London Olympics, the ASC "set a target to have 20 world champions this year." Also, under its qualifying criteria, "they have so far tallied 18 athletes or teams from 13 sports -- as well as a number of 'notable performances.'" Wylie lamented "the lack of recognition and support women's sport receives in Australia, especially following the success by Australian females this year." Wylie: "One of the great under-appreciated stories of Australian sport is that there is a rising force in the form of female sport. If you look at the percentage of [Olympic] medals Australia won in 2000 -- the Sydney Olympics -- we won 38 percent of our medals from female athletes." Wylie, a Melbourne-based managing director and head of corporate advisory of the global financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard, "believes that women's sport is dangling like a carrot for corporate Australia to associate itself with." Wylie said, "The message we would give to Australian companies and broadcasters is that there is a massive opportunity in front of them. We think Australian companies and broadcasters should jump on the opportunity and get behind women's sport because it's a rising force" (SMH, 10/16).

China said on Monday it "regretted that two Indian athletes were prevented from attending a competition in China but said it has been flexible in handling the issue" (XINHUA, 10/14). ... The Malaysian Hockey Confederation competitions committee "has called for a meeting" on Oct. 26 among all the clubs involved in their league competitions to discuss the '14 calendar (THE STAR, 10/15). ... The talks between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket South Africa will "resume in London in a couple of days time." The leaders of the two boards "will meet on the sidelines of the executive board meeting" of the Int'l Cricket Council. The ICC meeting is slated for Wednesday and Thursday (MUMBAI MIRROR, 10/15). ... A BCCI official said that the Indian Cricket Board "would again oppose the under-trialled rule of using two new white balls from either end of the ground in ODIs" during the ICC's meeting in January next year (PTI, 10/15).