NBA Brooklyn Nets' CEO Says Team Looking To Expand Brand Into U.K., Russia
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).