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Nets Minority Owner Joe Tsai Keeps on Building a Professional Sports Portfolio

Nets Minority Owner Joe Tsai Keeps on Building a Professional Sports Portfolio

Nets minority owner and Alibaba Group co-founder Joe Tsai recently purchased the New York Liberty from the Madison Square Garden Company. The Taiwanese-Canadian billionaire businessman owns an indoor lacrosse team called the Seals in the National Lacrosse League in San Diego. The Liberty is the latest addition to his quickly growing professional sports portfolio. Tsai also owns a stake in the American professional basketball team Brooklyn Nets.

The businessman has become an ambassador for American basketball in China, pros, and college. Tsai has sponsored 2 PAC-12 China Games through Alibaba. Tsai has been attending Barclays and Nets games. He has been center and front in the last two years for the Nets-Warriors contest and took part in Jeremy Lin’s All-Stars charity game in Shenzhen in August 2018. Tsai believed that with some on-court victory, he could boost Nets’ popularity.

His connections in China could be the reason why he’s a big deal in the league. He’s not only knowledgeable in the market. Tsai also has been supporting new technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence) at Alibaba. There will be many opportunities to grow basketball in China, and the NBA will be promoting online and TV rights in Asia in the future. Since Tsai bought the Nets, it also means that he owns 1/30th of the NBA. The businessman has not publicly declared his long-term plans for the Nets, but he has stated support for Sean Marks.

Tsai is also a member of NBA China’s board of directors. He joined at the request of Commissioner Adam Silver, which indicates how the league and the commissioner see Tsai. Silver also praised the involvement of Tsai during the meetings of the NBA board of governors. Tsai is listed as the alternate governor of the Nets. According to Silver, Tsai has already contributed a lot by offering strategic insight and advice to help the operations of the league in China. Tsai will gain control of the Nets in 2021. He owns 49% of the team. Mikhail Prokhorov will keep a significant minority position in the Nets. Tsai helped Nets President Brett Yormark organize a marketing tour of Chinese towns in May. According to Yormark, he was able to meet 21 CEOs on the trip.

Details about the Liberty deal remain shrouded. According to James Dolan, the team has lost $100 million during its 20-year history and Madison Square Garden Company has been trying to sell it for 14 months. The price tag might not be a significant number because of these reasons. Both the WNBA Board of Governors and the NBA approved the purchase. There is also uncertainty about where Liberty will play long term. Last year, the team moved to the Westchester County Center. The Liberty could play in either Nassau Coliseum or Barclays Center. It’s not yet whether Liberty will be rebranded or not. The decision will depend on where the team will play. A plan that will be based and have an international aspect and collaboration with the Nets should be expected.

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