Russian Billionaire Makes A Deal With Stoli And The Nets

The new owner of the New Jerset Nets, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, has big plans for his team. Prokhorov is bringing Russian style to his team and to the area, first with his Russian-language luxury magazine Snob and also with a five-year sponsorship deal with Stolichnaya, the Russian vodka producer. The NY Times reports that the deal is worth about $2 million a year and will include Stoli-branded bars at the Barclays Center, the Nets arena being built in Brooklyn. The Nets are overseas right now, first in Moscow and in China. It's all part of Prokhorov's strategy to create what he calls a global team. He's hoping to have the entire country of Russia cheer for the Nets by bringing them to his home country. As the NY Times article points out the Houston Rockets are popular in China because of Yao Ming, an interest that has led to endorsement deals with Chinese companies. Many NBA teams play preseason games overseas increasing worldwide interest in basketball and the NBA.

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