December 29, 2008
Does marketing trump basketball when it comes to the Nets starting Yi?
Atlantic Yards Report
Atlantic Yards developer and NJ Nets owner Bruce Ratner wants you to believe that the off-season trade of star forward Richard Jefferson for Yi Jianlian was "100 percent about basketball.” Considering the marketing potential of one of China's biggest exports, many critics wonder if the trade has more to do with sponsorships and tapping into an international fan base:
Even though Yi has not yet been "great," there's another incentive to make sure he gets playing time. CEO Brett Yormark signed sponsorship deals in September with four Chinese companies.
Fan sentiment from China has even distorted the balloting for the All-Star Game (ASG), with Yi occupying third place among Eastern Conference forward in overall fan voting, ahead of stars like Chris Bosh and Paul Pierce, among others.
Posted by lumi at December 29, 2008 5:05 AM