Sunday, November 01, 2015

Yormark suggests Nets may play in Russia, India (EB-5?); Nassau naming rights coming; ESports to Barclays?

NetsDaily on 10/12/15 offered a very interesting account of remarks by Nets/Barclays CEO Brett Yormark at a sports branding conference, Next preseason for Brooklyn Nets ... in India? Russia?:
In a discussion with a British sports business publication last week, Brett Yormark hinted that the Nets could be headed to Russia or even India next year, presumably in preseason, adding that he's already spoken to the NBA about it."
...The NBA has identified both countries as priorities for its international marketing effort. Yormark provided no further details.
Note that the team's previous trips (2010, 2014) to China were not only part of an NBA effort but also connected with arena developer Forest City Ratner's efforts to recruit immigrant investors willing to offer a cheap loan in exchange for a green card under the federal government's loosely regulated EB-5 program (in which each investment purportedly creates 10 jobs).

So I bet that a trip to either Russia or India might dovetail with another EB-5 effort.

Branding Brooklyn

Yormark also said, using one of his favorite phrases, that "Brand Brooklyn" is iconic, global, hip, cool, representing "strength and grittiness"--which is an interesting summary, because, say, artisanal, hip Smorgasburg fare is not exactly gritty.

Then again, he said, "We're a top three seller, our jersey, in China. The Chinese consumer does
gravitate to black-and-white as a color palette. They like Brand Brooklyn. And with our digital platforms, we're able to speak to fans throughout the world."

He suggested that, just three years out, "most of the fans today don't even remember the days in New Jersey," a situation very different from the Islanders, which he is trying to connect to "Brand Brooklyn" with that extra black-and-white jersey.

Expansion plans, naming rights

He indicated a plan to expand into ESports (um, live gaming) and that arena promoters plan to expand not only into Brooklyn (The Paramount) and Long Island (Nassau Coliseum) but also "our first foray into Manhattan," an attempt to  "grow our venue business, create some scale in and around New York"--i.e., mini-tours for artists.

He also said the Nassau Coliseum--well, the project, not the building--will soon get a naming rights partner.

Branding Yormark

Yormark reflected on his personal brand, which I'll quote in full:
"I'm very conscious of my personal brand and I think I reinvented my personal brand as my career has grown. In Jersey, not that I was about 'more is more," but we were in survival mode. So my brand had a different meaning in Jersey. In Brooklyn, it's changed. I think as you grow in your career, and you entertain different environments, your personal brand goes along with it. As we've positioned ourselves as a premium product in Brooklyn, as we've taken the 'less is more' philosophy, that's had a little bit more of a rub off on my brand."
Actually, the Nets might be said to be in survival mode today, as well.  

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