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Nets still last in the league attendance, but a much stronger year, with playoffs berth and new revenue (plus gambling future)

The Brooklyn Nets were last in attendance in the NBA, again, but this was a better year: they made the playoffs and turned a corner with their rebuild.

Nets turnaround one of the NBA's richest stories, wrote USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt 4/11/19.

The playoffs begin tonight in Philadelphia and, especially if Philly star Joel Embiid doesn't play, the Nets have a real chance. Here's a roundup via NetsDaily. The first game in Brooklyn is next Thursday, 4/18/19.

The team's 2018-19 attendance averaged 14,941, according to ESPN, though late-season games showed far more interest.

In 2017-18, the figure was 15,556 (though that was goosed by "home games" in Mexico City); in 2016-17, 15,429; in 2015-16, 15,125. That came after three seasons averaging over 17,000. Do note that all these figures represent official attendance, not actual gate count, which is significantly less.

Business boost

According to NetsDaily, even before the playoffs--which offers a big revenue boost--not only was late-season attendance strong, local TV ratings are up 24 percent over last season, sales of Nets gear are up 40 percent, and ticket revenue is up 21%--perhaps reflecting future commitments to season tickets, which are up.

Also, the team's Instagram following has grown 28%, Twitter engagement has more than doubled, and Twitter video views have more than tripled.

As noted:
Playoff games are far more profitable than their regular season counterparts. On the revenue side, of course, there’s the higher attendance but also on the expenditure side, the league picks up some costs.
But that still doesn't mean the team will be profitable.

On 4/11/19, in an interview with Forbes's Shlomo Sprung, Brett Yormark, CEO of both the Brooklyn Nets and BSE Global, shared similar statistics.

“In many respects, it’s a validator of the work that [GM] Sean [Marks] and [Coach] Kenny [Atkinson] did, a validator of ownership," Yormark said. "And we’re seeing it from the business side. As smart as we all think we are, winning matters, especially in a market like New York."

Nets guard D’Angelo Russell, a surprising All-Star, has more Instagram followers than any athlete in New York, according to the article.

Still, there are snags. The YES network puts New York Yankees games first, so, if/when there's a conflict, Nets games will be broadcast on My9.

The gambling future

From the Forbes article:
Yormark and the Nets are also monitoring the great opportunities that will eventually come with the seemingly inevitable legalization of sports gambling in New York state. He and the team, like the league, are in favor of sports gambling as long as there's NBA oversight and sees mobile gambling as a way to keep fans engaged not only in the arena but for those watching at home as a mechanism to improve the team's TV ratings.
That, perhaps, is one reason why incoming owner Joe Tsai would pay so much for a money-losing sports franchise.

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