The Brooklyn Nets are selling out—partially—and could soon have a far greater global reach than the franchise ever thought possible.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, Joseph Tsai, co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba, has agreed to purchase a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets.
Tsai is an undergraduate and law school graduate from Yale with a sports background. Playing pickup basketball throughout his time at Yale and an avid NBA fan for several years, Tsai has shown he has a love for basketball.
Per the report, the deal will be set at Brooklyn’s current value, which is $2.3 billion for 49 percent ownership of the franchise. The deal includes an option for Tsai to acquire full controlling interest in four years, but Mikhail Prokhorov will retain majority control until then. Ownership of the Barclays Center is not part of this transaction. Prokhorov currently owns the arena, but conversations were held over a new-long term lease in the future.
“He has expressed enthusiasm over the direction of the franchise with general manager Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson,” sources told Wojnarowski and Lowe, “and ultimately plans to work on bridging his strong Asian business ties into global business opportunities for the Nets.”
Tsai, who has been in Asia for the past several years, has strong business ties and connections in Asia. He can bring future partnership deals and endorsements for the Nets franchise. This is a great move for Brooklyn.