Saturday, August 18, 2012

"In Brooklyn, It’s All Nets": Times slideshow (and Sports section three-pager) about Nets marketing reinforces Nets marketing

In Brooklyn, It’s All Nets, declares a 12-slide slideshow online at the New York Times's Sports section. It also occupies the top two-thirds of the Sports section front in print, plus a two-page center spread:
The Nets don’t officially step on the court in Brooklyn until the fall. But the team’s imprint is already evident, even ubiquitous, around the borough.
Well, duh, because most of the examples involve advertising.

NY Times/Todd Heisler
When a corporation does a big ad spend, does that merit a slideshow? Or, if it does deserve coverage, should that coverage be simply about the fact of that the "imprint" exists, or perhaps a little insight, or skepticism.

For example, the "First Home Game Since 1957" signs are in stores, according to one report, because the Nets pay $25 a pop. But there's no mention of that here.

Or, perhaps, why not mention how the arena operators managed to slide in a Barclays logo on the arena roof?

The 12 slides

My count of the 12 slides:
  • billboards: 3
  • smaller ads on street: 1
  • t-shirts/caps worn by civilians on street: 4
  • merchandise/signs in stores: 3
  • views of the (unbranded) arena: 1
Some fatuous captions

Some of the captions are kind of fatuous:
The construction of the Barclays Center was contentious, with many neighborhood residents fearing the effect it would have on the surrounding area.
Was? Still is. The operation of the arena is a big unknown.

Another:
Brooklyn residents could find it difficult to escape the Nets’ marketing. After many years of futility in New Jersey, the Nets are hoping the move to Brooklyn will re-energize the franchise.
Well, difficult to escape especially when the press provides free advertising.

Another:
After years of trying to bring their new arena to fruition, the Nets are finally saying hello to Brooklyn, and the borough is embracing the team.
Well, some in the borough are embracing the team, surely enough to fill a lot of seats. But it's hard to get a good sense of that from a slideshow focused on advertising. After all, a good chunk of the kids at a rally for "Brooklyn's Backcourt" pep rally last month were lured by things like free t-shirts.

Demographic note

Note that all four civilians pictured wearing Nets gear are black men, who, while a significant slice of Brooklyn, can't represent the borough's diversity.

I suspect that the propensity to wear such gear is not distributed evenly; for example, it skews toward men far more than women.

And I haven't seen a lot of signs and caps and t-shirts, for example, in the Pakistani neighborhood near where I live. It's a little conclusory to posit a wholesale embrace.

No disclosure

The Times has typically, though not consistently, offered this disclosure regarding arena developer Forest City Ratner:
The company, which was the development partner for the Midtown headquarters for The New York Times Company....
Not here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:08 AM

    An unpublished letter to the NYTimes from Lawrence J. Goldstein of Larchmont, NY (father of two anti-Atlantic Yards activists):

    Has the NY Times Company business(2) taken such a turn for the better that management suddenly concluded that the Company is so profitable that it now should provide free advertising, to its development partner Forest City Ratner, such as that which appeared on three pages of the eight page Sports section in the Aug 18, 2012 issue pictorial entitled “In Brooklyn, It’s All Nets”?

    ReplyDelete