Brett Yormark told ITAR-TASS, the Russian news agency, that the Nets' acquisition of Andrei Kirilenko will help him market the team both in Russia and the Russian-speaking neighborhoods of New York. Russia, along with China, are the Nets top marketing targets overseas, he added.
Yormark, in Moscow with Kirilenko and Irina Pavlova,held a reception for potential sponsors at Mikhail Prokhorov's ONEXIM headquarters Thursday. In addition to Kirilenko, Yormark and Pavlova who flew in from New York, Dmitry Razumov and Chris Charlier, Prokhorov's No. 2 and 3, were on hand.
Yormark said that the Nets are working with Adidas to get Kirilenko jerseys on the shelves in Russia as soon as possible and pointed to plans to use AK-47 in selling the team in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, home of 100,000 Russian speakers.
"We have a desire to [market] a large number of products in Russian and geared towards Andrei Kirilenko. I think that soon the Russian fans will able to fulfill this dream," said the Nets CEO when asked about Kirilenko jerseys.
On Brighton Beach, Yormark said Kirilenko is "the best advertising for Brooklyn in Brighton Beach."
Yormark also said the Nets hope to play in Russia at some point, noting they traveled to Russia two years ago on their way to China for exhibition games.
"We would like to play in Moscow," he told ITAR-TASS. "We have been here a couple of years ago, master classes, and would like to do it again. But not this year. January 16 we will hold the London leg of the regular season against the Atlanta Hawks. We will continue to work on expanding our brand in Europe with the help of these away games. I hope that in the future and get to Russia."
The Nets aren't just focusing on Europe, he added, noting that he and Kevin Garnett had been in China two weeks ago selling the team.
"Brooklyn is very popular among the Chinese. The team is popular there and so are our players. They know Paul Pierce and Deron Williams. China is very important for us in terms of marketing. Our main goal - it is the Chinese and the Russian market. We once spent matches in China and now want to go back there."