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Times dispatches Beijing bureau chief to write Sports story about Nets (but not EB-5)

In a Sports section article today headlined For the Nets, the Journey Has Just Begun, the New York Times dispatches its Beijing Bureau Chief, Michael Wines, to cover the marketing potential of Mikhail Prokhorov's New Jersey (and future Brooklyn) Nets.

(What hasn't the Times covered? The EB-5 story.)

The article begins with a nod to the team's marketing man:
Brett Yormark is talking about the incredible global marketing potential of the New Jersey Nets, a concept — New Jersey, the Nets and global marketing potential — that might seem unlikely until you hear his pitch, and remember that two years from now, they will probably be the New York Nets.
Probably the New York Nets, not the Brooklyn Nets? I doubt it, but, if so, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will plotz.

Winner needed

Wines somehow grants newcomer Prokhorov credit for Yormark's global marketing, but offers a caution:
Like the Nets, a number of global corporate entities have bought into Prokhorov’s vision. Barclays Bank, a British company with operations in 50 nations but a low American profile, bought the naming rights to the new Brooklyn arena. Haier, a Chinese state-owned company that is the world’s fourth-biggest appliance maker but is relatively unknown outside China, is another sponsor. So is Willis & Company, an Irish insurance broker. So is Stolichnaya vodka, the arena’s official vodka.

The N.B.A. is a phenomenon here, and outside the Four Seasons this week, Chinese fans were eagerly seeking autographs from N.B.A. players. But here, at least, some people steeped in basketball doubted that the Nets’ global strategy, carefully bolted together as it might be, would work. Chinese fans, they said, do not care whether a team is beloved in Moscow or in East Orange, N.J. They just want it to win.
OK, so that's a balanced story, within the parameters of the story. It's just that there's another story to write.


  1. The Times just isn’t reporting on the elephants in the room when it comes to Nets and their travels abroad. For instance we wrote about the analytical gyrations the Times went through to explain the oddness of how the Nets were traveling “internationally.” In point of fact, “international travel” was the press release version of the story. Mainly the Nets are going to China and Russia, that’s that, and there are very good reasons to explain why they are traveling to those two particular countries; to sell EB-5 green cards to the Chinese and to address Prokhorov’s reputation as a “gangster” (Taibbi ‘s take) in his home country of Russia.


    Sunday, October 10, 2010
    Noting One Oddity, The Times, in Another, Neglects Obvious Explanations: Ratner’s EB-5 Green Cards Sale; A Reason For the Nets To Go To China, And. .

    Michael D. D. White
    Noticing New York


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