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Tsai Effect: As sports betting explodes, Nets see Asia as big market

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March Madness Viewing Party At The Westgate Las Vegas Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In a story Monday on the rise of sports betting, Sports Business Journal points to Asia as a crucial market and Nets CEO Brett Yormark believes the Nets team’s ownership structure will be advantage in selling sponsorships in Asia.

SBJ notes “For those selling and marketing sports media and sponsorships, the imminent legalization of widespread bookmaking is like a map to buried treasure.” Experts think that rather than being sportsbook operators, leagues and their teams will be smarter to a seller of sports media and sponsorships.

And that’s where the Tsai Effect will come into play. Yormark just recently returned from China to discuss spsonorships and other advertising, his trip spurred by Tsai’s purchase of a 49 percent stake in the Nets (and no doubt next year’s return of Jeremy Lin.)

Asia is now the biggest gambling market in the world, SFJ’s Terry Lefton reports. The popularity of the NBA in China is one rationale behind NBA Commissioner Adam Stern championing legalized sports betting.

As for the Nets, Lefton notes...

On his way back from recent meetings with Tsai and potential sponsors in China, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark stopped in London to familiarize himself with the legal bookmaking industry there.

“Look at the size of the market in China and our new ownership there,” Yormark said. “We see a real upside on sports betting, and we’re going to take advantage of it.”

The Nets, under Mikhail Prokhorov, have long had a vision of becoming a “global” franchise and their early star-driven decisions were driven by that goal. But the team’s lack of success (and a star) thwarted that. Now with Tsai, whose company Alibaba is the leading e-commerce business in Asia, the Nets are once again hoping for that global link. This time, however, everyone in ownership says they want to build organically.