NEW YORK -- The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Brooklyn Nets to Joe Tsai.
“We are thrilled that Joe Tsai is becoming the principal owner and governor of the Brooklyn Nets,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “In addition to being a passionate basketball fan, Joe is one of China’s preeminent internet, media and e-commerce pioneers and his expertise will be invaluable in the league’s efforts to grow the game in China and other global markets. I would also like to thank Mikhail Prokhorov and Dmitry Razumov for their enormous contributions to the Brooklyn community, the Nets organization and the league. They leave a thriving team, well-positioned for the future.”
Additionally, the Nets made a change in the front office as well.
Leading media and sports executive David Levy was named Chief Executive Officer of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, it was announced today by Joe Tsai who, through entities controlled by him, completed the acquisition of full ownership of both the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center today.
Levy will also serve as the President of J Tsai Sports, the sports investment and holding vehicle controlled by Tsai. Additionally, Levy will join Tsai’s family office as a venture partner, with coverage of sports, media and entertainment investments globally.
In his role as CEO of the Nets and Barclays Center, Levy, who has more than a 30-year career working with the NBA, will oversee all business, revenue, strategy and operations for the franchise and arena.
“David brings a unique combination of sports and media know-how, strategic thinking and operating skills to our sports and entertainment business. He is an entrepreneur at heart with the experience of managing and scaling organizations, and I really look forward to working with him,” said Tsai.
“I am excited and honored to join the Nets organization and look forward to working alongside Joe and the talented forward-thinking executives and team members across the entire organization,” said Levy. “Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson have done a terrific job instilling a winning culture and I am looking forward to supporting them as we build a sustainable foundation of success on and off the court. I am excited for our fans and can’t wait to get started.”
On the vision to expand the portfolio of J Tsai Sports, Levy said, “We have a tremendous opportunity to capture the growth of sports globally. J Tsai Sports is in a unique position to leverage our global resources and a strong portfolio of sports, entertainment and technology holdings to create value for our existing franchises as well as invest in new ventures for growth.”
Long regarded as one of the most influential media and sports executives, the well-respected Levy spent 32 years at Turner Broadcasting, the last six years as President of the company. In his role as President, Levy had oversight of Turner’s leading portfolio of brands and businesses, including TNT, TBS, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and truTV, as well as Ad Sales and Distribution.
During his tenure, Levy was instrumental in expanding Turner’s sports media rights with a number of leagues and organizations, including the NBA, MLB, PGA of America and UEFA. In 2012, he led the efforts for Turner to acquire Bleacher Report.
Under his direction, Turner successfully expanded its relationship with the NBA beyond traditional television rights. In 2014, he negotiated a nine-year media rights agreement between Turner and the NBA that encompassed a broad spectrum of platforms including television, digital, sponsorship activation and other ancillary events. Additionally, he was instrumental in helping build strong franchises with Turner’s widely-regarded ‘NBA on TNT’ and the Emmy-Award winning ‘Inside the NBA’ studio show. In 2008, he developed a joint venture with the NBA for Turner to manage the league’s digital portfolio, which includes NBA TV and League Pass.
In 2010, Levy orchestrated a ground-breaking agreement between Turner, the NCAA and CBS for the rights to the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Championship. As part of this first of its kind partnership, all of the tournament games are televised across four networks -- TNT, TBS, truTV and CBS. In 2014, TBS exclusively televised the Final Four and two years later the National Championship Game, marking the first time in the event’s history the games were aired on a cable network.