Sunday, February 03, 2013

A history of Barclays Center giveaways: a year of free event tickets (yes) vs. a free suite for a year (not quite)

The Barclays Center got some positive publicity this past week for a giveaway, as in a Daily News article yesterday: She’s 1 in a million! Barclays Center celebrates its one-millionth guest:
Allison Barlow scored big at the Brooklyn Nets game Friday when she became Barclays Center’s 1 millionth customer — earning her two free tickets for every event there for a year.
...Jaws dropped, lights flashed and streamers exploded in the air as the modest mom passed through the turnstile for her second Nets game at the arena — leaving her husband and friends who accompanied her stunned.
...Barlow arrived at the arena around 7:30 p.m. — a 20-minute walk from her Park Slope home — and was promptly whisked away by Barclays owner Bruce Ratner.
...“All night long, people were saying congratulations,” she said. “Even before this happened, the center won me over. It’s great to see how Brooklyn it is.”
I suspect she was referring to the food, not the tax exemptions, financing scheme, public evasiveness, and Culture of Cheating.

Different promises and deceptions

The cost to give away two tickets to each event is surely acceptable, compared to the publicity value, especially if arena operators make it back on concessions.

Consider a previous promise that would have hit the bottom line, as explained in a 5/5/08 article in Crain's New York Business headlined Nets hold court on luxury suites:
Next week, the Nets will debut a prototype of their Frank Gehry-designed, $300,000-a-year Barclays Center corporate suites at a splashy party in their New York Times Building showroom.
To entice 185 of New York’s top CEOs to attend—and buy—the organization delivered a series of gifts over the past month, including a Tiffany key chain with a key, one of which will open a door to a free suite for the team’s inaugural season. 
Did arena operators ever announce a CEO who got a free suite? Nope. Surely they would have milked the publicity had it happened.

Consider how they milked the publicity of Jay-Z "buying" a suite--at least until it was revealed that he got it for free.

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