Monday, November 07, 2011

Journalism or advertising? Inaccurate NY1 piece posits that "Barclays Suite Showroom Has Robust Sales"

Let's take a closer look at the 11/3/11 NY 1 item headlined Barclays Suite Showroom Has Robust Sales.

Despite the headlined, there's no evidence in the piece that the sales are robust. We learn that "The Nets sales group says it has sold half of the available suites since they went on the market in March."

That's not true. Actually, suites went on sale three years earlier, in 2008. They had sold some 26 suites--about one quarter of the current total--by May 2008.

By July of this year, they had sold "close to half" of the 100 suites, according to Crain's. So in three years they went from one-quarter to about one-half. That's not so robust.

Journalism or advertising?

The rest of the piece is an advertisement, letting us know the strategy of those promoting the arena:
It's located in Midtown, but the Barclays Center Showroom is all Brooklyn. The hallways are lined with key dates in the borough's history and images of its landmarks, like Coney Island's Parachute Jump. It evokes nostalgia as Brooklyn gets its first professional sports team in decades.
"We realized early on that the brand 'Brooklyn' means so much. And for us, we're always selling Brooklyn, marketing Brooklyn, whether it's the building itself, the suites, the messaging," says Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark.
The suites are also named with a Brooklyn flair, from a model 10-seat suite called the "Loft," to a larger one called the "Brownstone." Prospective buyers can sit and watch a panoramic screen of 90 different seat views of the basketball court and concert stage.
The underlying rationale?

What was the point of this? Well, NY1 surely responded to a promotional pitch, and closed the piece with what I bet was the most important takeaway:
Next, the Barclays Center will be launching its "Event Level" suites, a marketing campaign is expected to happen later this month.
"Event Level" pricing is its most expensive package, starting at $550,000 per year. Hip-hop star Jay-Z, who owns a small part of the team, is also part of the marketing strategy. He is headlining a show to open the arena in September.
The alternative

Could NY1 have practiced a little journalism, trying to hold those in power accountable?

Why not ask about the Community Benefits Agreement and the missing Independent Compliance Monitor?

Or, perhaps, why Borough President Marty Markowitz made a video claiming "Brooklyn is 1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards."

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