November 30, 2009 16:25 ET

DOP Poll: New Yorkers Still Unaware of New Nets Owner

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 30, 2009) - A new poll by DOP shows that a majority of New Yorkers have not yet heard of Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's richest man and likely owner of the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

A poll of 500 New Yorkers aged between 16 and 60, taken November 26 to November 28, shows that while 47% knew about the planned New Jersey Nets sale and relocation to Brooklyn, only 9% could recall the buyer's name or nationality; to the 91% of New Yorkers Mr. Prokhorov is still virtually unknown, despite substantial media coverage of the Nets deal.

When the group of respondents who are aware of Mikhail Prokhorov's involvement in the Nets sale were asked to specify what have they heard about the Russian oligarch, about one half (48%) stated that he is Russia's richest man. About 60% recalled Mr. Prokhorov's arrest at the French Alpine resort of Courchevel and prostitution ring charges that followed (these charges were dropped this fall).

The $200 million purchase of the Nets was announced earlier this fall, subject to Mr. Prokhorov's approval by the NBA, which is expected to make the decision in December. Mikhail Prokhorov, number 24 on the Forbes billionaire list with $19.5 billion, rarely speaks to the press. However, if he wants to receive NBA directors' approval, he is likely to to try to improve his public profile and take efforts to repair his battered reputation in the US and around the world. Recently, Mr. Prokhorov has been a subject of a profile in the New Yorker and other publications.

It has been also reported that an English-language book about Prokhorov is likely to hit the bookstores in 2010. In the book, Mr. Prokhorov will present his side of the story on the controversial arrest in France as well as his business activities, including high-profile fire sale of his share of Norilsk Nickel and his disagreements with his former partner Vladimir Potanin.

Camilla Swenson, DOP's Director of Research, says: "It's very surprising that so few New Yorkers have heard about Mikhail Prokhorov, given the volume of coverage he has been receiving. But I guess it's just a matter of time, given his past incidents, his fun-loving nature and his plans to spend more time in the US."

DOP is a market research and polling group, focusing on the Russian-American market.

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