On the web, a ‘Nyet’ gain for Prokhorov

The Brooklyn Paper
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Who says there’s no “I” in team?

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov put a cyber-stamp on his New Jersey Nets this week, launching a “team” website in his native tongue — but the site also heavily promotes the owner and his business ventures back in the Motherland.

Forget about b-ballers Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, the lead image on the site is a glamour shot of Irina Pavlova, president of Onexim Sports and Entertainment, a subsidiary of Prokhorov’s $25-billion holding company Onexim.

Clicking the second story on the site brings up a picture of Prokhorov among his players, looking more like the coach than the owner.

Prokhorov said on Friday that the site would help Russian-speaking fans “fully experience” Nets basketball.

“I’m glad we’re reaching out to our global fan base in a personalized way,” said Prokhorov, who became the team’s principal owner in May. “We want Russian speakers from New Jersey to New York to Moscow to see the Nets as their home team, and a Russian language website is an excellent way to further that goal.”

The fledgling website offers articles, interviews, schedule photos and video and ticket information. It does not reveal the current NBA standings, where the Nets are 6–15, good enough for the third-worst record in the league.

The current on-court struggles follow last season’s debacle, when the Nets lost a franchise high 70 games — but on the Russian-language website, the Nets are a league leader (albeit as one of the “most-socially savvy teams” in culling new fans through Facebook and Twitter.

In the borough’s southern Brooklyn Russian enclaves, basketball fans said the website is hardly a slam-dunk.

“I love basketball, but I won’t go on the site just because the team owner is Russian,” said Raisa Chernina, a Sheepshead Bay resident who heads the Be Proud Foundation, a Russian-American advocacy group.

Besides, she said, the mega-wealthy team owner practically “speaks a different language” than the vast majority of Russians.

“He is in heaven, and I am on earth,” Chernina said. “I don’t know what our Russian community will get from him.”

And a Russian-language website is not something Brooklyn’s Russians immigrants even need, said Lena Makhnin, executive director of Brighton Beach Business Improvement District.

“Many people who live in this country speak and understand English,” she said. “It’s more of a promotion for his team and his company outside of the United States.”

Former Moscow resident Arthur Arutyunov observed that the site appears to reflect the Russian desire to use any tool available to broaden a fan base (indeed, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev often sends out Tweets and blog posts).

“Russians are deeply involved in the social network,” he said.

As such, a Russian-language website can’t be a bad thing for a team that is gearing up for its Brooklyn move for the 2012-2013 season. The cross-town rivals, the New York Knicks, are already in a marketing battle with the Nets to win the hearts of borough fans, posting big billboards demanding that Brooklynites “represent” for “the original ball team of the Empire State.”

Perhaps, but the Knicks have only one official website — in English.

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Linda from Prospect Heights says:
So, let me get this straight Brooklyn Paper... Every other rag, including those not boasting "Your Neighborhood - Your News" under their logo as you do, manages to cover and/or review "In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards" currently playing at the very neighborhoody Irondale Center for the last few weeks. Where are you Brooklyn Paper?
Dec. 7, 2010, 6:06 am
Bruce from Atlantic Yards says:
Prokhorov, the charming, brilliant wunderkind is the front man for a ruthless underworld run by the KGB-FSB and its minions in the Russian mafia.
Dec. 7, 2010, 12:15 pm
In the Slope from Park Slope says:
Repeating, if the talentless & losing New Jersey Nets were going to be named the ‘BROOKLYN Nets’ then the principal owner, Russian billionaire Mr. Prokhorov would have said so…. Brooklyn doesn't support them!! In the end the Nyets will be "New York Nets"!!

D-O-N-E!! D-E-A-L!!

GO talentless NEW YORK NETS!!
Dec. 7, 2010, 12:40 pm
mike from brighton says:
Do we realy care who brings $$$$ to NY City? I see tax revenues and local jobs in hundreds. I see new small business supplying the development. I do not care he is Russian or Martian. We need him.
Dec. 7, 2010, 3:06 pm
The the Slope from pARK sLOPE says:
The BIG LIE the arena provides much needed jobs!! For who, not the residents of Brooklyn or New Yorkers!! ESDC admits EB-5 (resident visas for the Chinese investors) arena funds not needed; so yes, they’ll be jobs for Chinese or Russian investors but NOT Brooklyn residents!! Why does Forest City Ratner (FCR) need to raise $249 million from 498 Chinese millionaires under the EB-5 immigration program? Tick Tock Tick Tock, THANKS FOR PLAYING!! YOU LOSE BROOKLYN!!! THESE JOBS FOR THE CHINESE!!!
Dec. 7, 2010, 4:04 pm
In the Slope from Park Slope says:
***** NEWS FLASH*****
From the Daily News, Shady dealings surround Atlantic Yards project - By Michael O'Keeffe

"Thus, it wouldn't create new jobs, even if it may fit within the loose strictures of the federal law, in which the total sum of money must generate 4980 jobs, ten per investor.”


Dec. 8, 2010, 8:47 am
In the Slope from Park Slope says:
From FCR 3rd QTR results; "The positive year-to-date net earnings variance was primarily driven by gains on dispositions of rental properties and The Nets, offset by increased impairment charges," the company stated.

Too funny….. FCRats increased their earnings because they ‘disposed of The Nets’!! Good riddance!!


D-O-N-E!! D-E-A-L!!
Dec. 8, 2010, 10:33 pm
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May 11, 2011, 3:20 pm

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