The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming ………….

Now that the ‘Cold War’ has ended , though there’s still said to be some distrust, disquiet , between the two former adversaries and by those who claim to be in the know. There’s an interesting anomaly that seems to be arising in the world of sports. In particular as with regards to the sports horizon in the United States and its landscape.

In Major League Baseball (MLB) there are two foreign owners of a major league franchise. In this case it is the Seattle Mariners . They’re owned by Nintendo of America Inc. who are part of the Japanese multi-national company, Nintendo Co,. Ltd . And there’s also the Toronto Blue Jays , owned by the wealthy but reclusive Rogers family. In the NHL , – well obviously there are the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs .

The NFL for all of its history and legacy does not possess a foreign owner , much less an ethnic minority owner in any of its 32 franchises. And this from a sport with burgeoning ambitions to become a global brand. It remains the one sport that despite its appearance would rather at ownership level remain and keep the status quo as it is. Essentially an ‘old boys network’ filled with a certain type of owner .

Russian  tycoon  Mikhail  Prokhorov  listed  as  Russia's  wealthiest  person  and  at   #40   Forbes'   list   of the  world's wealthiest  individuals   for   2009.   Prokhorov   has  made  a  detailed    offer  to   purchase a  majority  stake  in the  New  Jersey   Nets   along  with  a  capital  infusion   provided   for  the  development  of  the  Atlantic  Yards  project.  An  area that will   encapsulate   residential    as  well  commericial   properties   with  its  centerpiece  being   the  Barclay  Center-  which  will  become  the  new  home of the  New Jersey  Nets.     The  development   will  be  situated   in Brooklyn,  NY,.      picture appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Mikhail Metzel   ......................................
Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov listed as Russia's wealthiest person and at #40 Forbes' list of the world's wealthiest individuals for 2009. Prokhorov has made a detailed offer to purchase a majority stake in the New Jersey Nets along with a capital infusion provided for the development of the Atlantic Yards project. An area that will encapsulate residential as well commericial properties with its centerpiece being the Barclay Center- which will become the new home of the New Jersey Nets. The development will be situated in Brooklyn, NY,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mikhail Metzel ......................................

The NBA now but down to one foreign owned franchise, in the form of the Toronto Raptors . They’re now said to be on their way into possessing a second . It is widely being speculated upon that Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov will formally make a bid to buy in part , the New Jersey Nets. It is said to already have the blessing of NBA commissioner David Stern. Though the formal announcement has yet to be made as it await the NBA’s Board of Governors’ approval. It is not thought that there will be dissenting voice or vote in the process. And certainly with the most recent maneuver whereby the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ owner Dan Gilbert sold a minority stake in the franchise to a Chinese entrepreneur.

The  Barclays  Center    as   the  projected   future home  of  the  New  Jersey   Nets  .  The  design  is   by  architectural   firm  Ellerbe  Beckett .  picture appears courtesy of  curbed.com/archives/ barclays  center  ......................
The Barclays Center as the projected future home of the New Jersey Nets . The design is by architectural firm Ellerbe Beckett . picture appears courtesy of curbed.com/archives/ barclays center ......................

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP

Russian tycoon to buy Nets, move team to Brooklyn

By Tom Canavan AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—The NBA has truly gone global.

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov reached an agreement Wednesday to buy 80 percent of the financially strapped New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

The only thing that stands in the way is a nyet from the league’s board of governors, and that doesn’t seem likely with NBA commissioner David Stern already giving the deal his initial blessing.

The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets’ current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.

It would make Prokhorov, a billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA’s first non-North American owner.

It would also mean the Nets really do seem headed to Brooklyn, a New York City borough without a major pro sports franchise since baseball’s Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957.

“Interest in basketball and the NBA is growing rapidly on a global basis, and we are especially encouraged by Mr. Prokhorov’s commitment to the Nets and the opportunity it presents to continue the growth of basketball in Russia,” Stern said in a statement.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, too, is ready to welcome Prokhorov to the NBA.

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In order to read Tom Canavan’s article in its entirety just click on the link provided.

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The New Jersey Nets’ principal partner Bruce Ratner , whose paramount issue at present is the relocation of the franchise from New Jersey to New York City (Brooklyn). And it is felt with the cash infusion provided by Prokhorov. It would facilitate the finishing of the project known as the Atlantic Yards project. At the center of this all will be the Barclays Center , which will become the new home of the New Jersey Nets. The project itself is multi-billion dollar undertaking. And it envisaged as an area of residential as well as commercial properties with the Barclays Center as its center piece.

Bruce  Ratner seated  left   of movie  star  Bruce Willis   is the  principal  partner   in the  ownership   group of  the NBA's  New Jersey  Nets.   Ratner  and  his  ownership   group  are  awaiting the NBA's   blessing  to  sell  in  excess of  80%  of  the  franchise  and  other  assets  to Russian  tycoon   Mikhail  Prokhorov.  picture appears courtesy  of  getty  images/   Richard   Hauser .......................
Bruce Ratner seated left of movie star Bruce Willis is the principal partner in the ownership group of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Ratner and his ownership group are awaiting the NBA's blessing to sell in excess of 80% of the franchise and other assets to Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Richard Hauser .......................

With this now comes the perception that this won’t be the last big undertaking by the Nets’ ownership. It is widely thought that with impending free agency of the Cavaliers’ Le Bron James at the end of the 2009-10 season . The New Jersey Nets will make a solid push to obtain the player. Certainly the Nets won’t be the only team looking to lure the player to ‘The Big Apple’, as it’s also thought that the New York Knicks will most certainly make the player a very lucrative offer. And it is thought the Cleveland Cavaliers will move heaven and earth to insure that James remains in Cleveland.

Rap star , music mogul and business entrepreneur Jay Z , who’s also a minority owner of the New Jersey Nets. Here he speaks with fellow rap star and record producer Jermaine Dupri and his ambitions to bring the Nets to Brooklyn. It’s also believed that he may well sway the decision that’s yet to be made by LeBron James and whether or not he’ll leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Certainly should this deal be approved by the NBA . Then it would most certainly change sporting landscape within the United States. The NFL in large part sees itself as a burgeoning brand on the international market. But essentially they’ve been somewhat haphazard in their marketing of their brand and product to the outside world. And while the game is growing in popularity across the globe. The resonance that it has sought , has yet to reach the levels attained by the NBA. This only adds to the dilemma that it now faces. And for the NBA , the acquiring of a foreign based owner in the guise of Mikhail Prokhorov will be seen as a boon for them and a ‘grand marketing idea’ that they can build around to further their already established brand on a global scale.

Cavaliers'  player  LeBron  James   signs  copies   of  book  'Shooting  Stars'  at  a  book  signing   at  a Borders  bookstore in  Westlake  ,  Ohio.   The   player    seeks   impending  free  agency   after  the  2009-10  NBA   season.   And  it's  believed   that  there'll  be  a  fullcourt  press  by   both  the New  York  Knicks  and  New  Jersey  Nets  to  acquire  the  player.   The  book   is  James'   first  take  at   writing   and  he was  assisted  in the process  by  noted   author  Buzz  Bissinger , who   wrote   'Friday  Night  Lights'  .   picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Amy  Sancetta  .......................
Cavaliers' player LeBron James signs copies of book 'Shooting Stars' at a book signing at a Borders bookstore in Westlake , Ohio. The player seeks impending free agency after the 2009-10 NBA season. And it's believed that there'll be a fullcourt press by both the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets to acquire the player. The book is James' first take at writing and he was assisted in the process by noted author Buzz Bissinger , who wrote 'Friday Night Lights' . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Amy Sancetta .......................

Well one can surmise to invest in an NFL franchise is a considerable one. Given the fact that the average price of an NFL franchise is slightly more than a $1 billion . And if you were of the opinion what it would indeed cost to be new starting franchise in the NFL. Well unless you can come up with rights’ fees and then have at least another $1 billion dollars in financing for a stadium and other ancillary costs . Then the NFL isn’t the business you really want to be getting into. And that’s even with the over inflated price tags of their franchises. The revenues garnered by way of the tv rights and marketing , may well make it on appearance a lucrative investment. But for every dollar invested what is the return on that particular investment ( roi ) ?

I for one think that with the impending addition of Prokhorov as an owner within the NBA. It can only be of benefit to the game , domestically as well as on the international front. It adds to the ambitions of the game’s hierarchy. And in essence it gives the impression that there’s also a favorable environment for an aspiring sports franchise owner to invest here in an identifiable product and brand. At present the same can’t necessarily said of the NFL. It’s still looking for its first ethnic minority owner , never-mind one from the international arena. And that’s something that the NFL hasn’t really pursued at any level , in reality. If they’re of the opinion that the ‘Rooney Rule’ fixes anything, then they’re sadly mistaken.

Roger Goodell, nor his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue , had gone far enough to ingratiate the thought of even having a minority owner of a franchise within the NFL. It has been something of an eye opener to many and nearly not enough for a number of people who’d obviously like to have seen a genuine effort from the NFL.

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

8 thoughts on “The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming ………….”

  1. This is good idea. It is called free enterprise. Moeny talks and bullshit walks. I love and I am all for free enterprise and the free market economy.

    Like

  2. With teams losing money, and nearly going bankrupt in the NBA last year, I doubt it isn’t a welcome site to see a $700 billionaire take over a team. I can’t see much changing, but who knows maybe the Nets will even be competitive!

    Like

    1. chappy81

      Prokhorov will bring something different to the table. Ratner over exposed himself with regard to the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn. Hence , the cash infusion from the Russian.

      And also remember this year the NBA borrowed in excess $200million to prop up the finances of several of their franchises. And over the last decade they’ve borrowed in excess of $1.3 billion. So what does that tell you as to what’s going on within the league as a whole ?

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      Jigga’s got to learn how to say das vidaniya first. It ain’t easy being ze Russian you know. Look Michigan now much like Notre Dame and FSU have become almost irrelevant on the collegiate football landscape. They’ll be played against in order to garner the exposure and acclaim nationally when their ass is handed to them on a silver platter.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

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