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Overtime - Nets News

Irina Pavlova Q&A: Sports, Spirit and SPAM (1 of 3)

June 28, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.óIrina Pavlova made this interview easy. So easy that she smoothly flipped the script at its conclusion, quizzing the questioner on his own role within the Nets organization.

That ability to facilitate two-way communication will serve her well in a new job as President of Onexim Sports and Entertainment. She laughed quickly (joking that every time someone has mentioned the Brooklyn Arena (ďuh-REEN-uh,Ē sheís turned her head at hearing her name ĒEE-reen-uhď), and also revealed a broad understanding of the issues sheíll be dealing with while coordinating the teamís employees in New Jersey, Moscow and Brooklyn.

She sat down with njnets.com to discuss her position, her background and what itís like working with new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Our transcript follows.


Irina Pavlova

Revealing the Role
NJNets.com: Youíve joined the franchise as President of Onexim Sports and Entertainment. Whatís that job going to entail?

Irina Pavlova: My role is to bridge the gap between the management here in the States and the Moscow office. The way I see it is: Iím here to facilitate everything that needs to get done to get us a championship team. I think, at times, it involves translating some cultural communication differences; other times itís just gathering information and transferring it the right way. Basically, Iím a conduit for information flow Ė thatís my main goal, to make sure everything runs smoothly.

NJNets.com: Howís it going so far?

Pavlova: So far, so good. Very busy, but Iíve had a lot of help and Iím very grateful for this opportunity. I definitely feel part of the team, which feels great.

NJNets.com: Your background isnít sports heavy Ė what attracted you to basketball?

Pavlova: I think basketball is a very easy sport to get into: I love the energy, I love watching the guys play; the few games Iíve been to, Iíve really enjoyed. To be honest, Iíve been telling everyone that if I was presented with the same opportunity for baseball I think Iíd find it a little more difficult to get into. [Laughs.] Iíve really been enjoying it. Itís a new experience for me, but one Iím embracing fully.

It also allows me to put my business background to good use. Iím very involved in all the strategic and financial decisions and Iím excited to see the results of my work translate into a better team and a more fun experience for our fans.

NJNets.com: What are some of the cultural differences you anticipate dealing with?

Pavlova: I think the most difficult stuff is that the Russian business environment is a little less structured than the American (one), and I think thatís something I can help out with because Iíve worked for both Russian and US companies. I understand how it works. I think most of the problems that usually do arise for foreign companies working abroad involve communication. Just knowing how Russians think and do business and how Americans perceive it, I think I can be helpful in that.

Most of it is pretty basic. But they say, ĎThe Devil is in the details,í and I think some things just get lost in translation. So I need to make sure we have communication flow.

NJNets.com: What should someone know about how youíll approach this job if theyíve got no familiarity with your background?

Pavlova: I think the main thing is Iím not here to meddle. The team has great management, and Iím not here to tell them how to do things. Iím here to make their jobs easier, to facilitate any support they feel they need and to make sure everyone is in the loop regarding any concerns or issues that come up. I donít want anyone to think that Iím replacing anyone Ė Iím definitely not. I am just here as an addition.

Next: Getting to Google
1 | 2 | 3

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