In May, Mikhail Prokhorov became the majority owner of the New Jersey Nets. During an interview with Forbes Russia in August, Prokhorov said he had three plans. Plan A included signing a big star (nyet). Plan B is to build the franchise slowly over a five-year period (I assume this translates to: “hope free agents prefer Brooklyn over Newark”). And Plan C is what Prokhorov called “an element of surprise from Russia.”
Plan C apparently included liquor. Five months after Prokhorov took over, the Nets made their first major move. They signed a sponsor. And the sponsor is from Russia, of course…
Stolichnaya signed a five-year accord to become the official vodka of the Barclays centre, which will be the home of the Russian-owned New Jersey Nets from 2012…Stolichnaya, owned by the Moscow-based SPI Group, will have exclusive branding around the Brooklyn facility and in the arena’s six bars, an e-mailed statement from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment said yesterday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed…”This partnership represents Stoli’s first long-term foray into professional sports,” said Andrey Skurikhin, a partner at SPI Group.
Vodka? That seems fitting for a team that won 12 games in 2009-10. And the fans will need plenty of it if after The Big Tease, better known as almost trading for Carmelo Anthony.
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