The Nassau Coliseum vs. the Barclays Center; the Nets' anthem video re-mix (better but already dated); Nets gear as fashion statement
For all that's wrong with the Coliseum, it still has perfect sightlines for hockey. Modern sports stadiums are increasingly built for people who don’t go to sporting events to watch sports. Think of the Barclays Center, with its terrible sightlines, and its tireless, schmaltzy, Brooklyn-centric branding. “Brooklyn’s own” John Turturro gives the courtesy safety announcement before the Nets games. The arena soundtrack consists mostly of Brooklyn rappers. The announcer calls for “Brooklyn ball,” never “Nets ball.” The pre-taped scoreboard messages implore, “Brooklyn stand up and get loud.” You can forget whom you're rooting for but never where you are. The Coliseum, tired and traditional, still rewards the hardcore fan.Note that the Barclays Center has fine sightlines for basketball, just not for hockey.
But it still offers many more luxury suites and branding opportunities than does the Coliseum.
Note: that would be John Turturro, once a special guest at a DDDB Walkathon, like Rosie Perez apparently succumbing to the Brooklyn-centric branding.
A new video of the Nets' anthem
Last month's postseason mix of the Nets' anthem, John Forte's "Brooklyn: Something to Lean On," below, is better than the earlier video, with more diverse shots of Brooklynites, the artist singing, and the players actually in action, rather than merely arriving at work to change from streetclothes.
And yet, it's already dated, because of the screenshot above right, showing coach P.J. Carlesimo rallying the players. He was fired immediately after the team lost in the first round. Remember, sports is a business.
The CUNY/New York Times blog The Local (soon to be detached from the NYT) has not exactly done saturation local coverage lately, but did on 5/8/13 publish an extensive article headlined Branding Brooklyn: The Rise of the Hybrid Fan.
Whether its longtime New York Knicks backers, out-of-towners or Brooklyn natives who are new to the game, these “hybrid fans” — more concerned about fashion and borough pride than fan loyalty — flood Modell’s on a daily basis, according to Nicholas Chang, the store’s general manager.
“They might not care about the players’ names on the backs of the jerseys, but one thing is for sure — they love the black and white,” he said.
...“It’s more about touting the Brooklyn Nets’ logo and colors as a fashion statement rather than a fan statement,” Mr. Chang said. “If it’s black and white, it sells like hotcakes.”
Elisa Padilla, Vice President of Marketing for the Nets, has the Brett Yormark-approved soundbite:
“When I see hipsters wearing (Nets) merchandise at games, I know we’ve arrived,” Ms. Padilla said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re die hard, casual or just want to look cool. Black and white has become the badge of honor to wear in our borough.”Clinical psychologist Napoleon Wells explains:
“Rooting for sports teams is a true tribal theme, and that’s a big deal for Brooklynites, because we all know they’re a proud group of people,” Dr. Wells said. “The Brooklyn Nets have developed a tribe quickly, and their fans feel committed to this marriage because the Nets took their last name, they took Brooklyn in name, and that’s something that locals can now claim as their own.”They do?
Then the cliche:
The Nets have also filled a void that’s festered at locals since Sept. 24, 1957, when the Brooklyn Dodgers played their final game at Ebbets Field, Ms. Padilla said.Festered "at" locals? How many were around back then? To quote Mark Jacobson, writing 10/1/12 in New York magazine:
Dodger longing made sense in the sixties or the seventies. A polis should be given ample time to mourn. But when the monolithic Ebbets Field Apartments have occupied the shores of Bedford Avenue longer than the ballpark ever did: Enough already. For Ratner and his municipal cheerleaders to play this rancid, long-expired nostalgia card now took a lot of balls, I thought.