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The business upside of the Nets' Harden trade: new placements for ads, and new rates

Yup, it's a business. As Sportico reported yesterday, in HARDEN TRADE PROMPTS YES NETWORK, NETS TO LAUNCH VIRTUAL ADS ON COURT, the Brooklyn Nets' dramatic, not-without-risk addition of superstar James Harden may cost draft picks and higher salaries, but comes with an upside:
Because of pinched budgets during the pandemic, the NBA is allowing broadcasts this season to include virtual ads on the court during games. The Nets and their TV partner, YES Network, originally decided to hold off on selling that space. On Thursday, 24 hours after the team acquired Harden in a blockbuster trade, the two sides reversed course. In a few weeks, advertising partners will have placement on the court during home and away games.
The trade “definitely pushed us quicker to the table,” said Howard Levinson, YES Network’s senior vice president of ad sales. “We were trying to develop a market for it, and now we feel like with this trade, the market will be there.”
As Sportico reported, advertising rates, which had already doubled from last year, given the expected pairing of stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, will likely increase again, with the addition of Harden.

That flexible pricing typically would also be reflected in ticket prices, though for now ticket sales have been stalled by the pandemic, and likely demand, post-vaccine, will not return uniformly. But longer-term, assuming the star trio sticks around, that should increase the costs of seats at Barclays Center.

The tabloid wars

And, well, it sure doesn't hurt to make the front cover (story) of the New York Post. 

Though columnist Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News, was scathing, writing In James Harden the Nets just landed the NBA’s poster guy for spoiled, entitled behavior:
So [GM Sean] Marks, a smart guy, not only didn’t learn from the recent history of his own team, one whose history got him his job. He just repeated it.
But this isn’t just about him, either. It is about the current, bearded face of spoiled, entitled NBA superstars, one who threatened to hold his breath, even making $40 million a year or whatever he is making, until the Houston Rockets let him go play where he wanted to play. This is about James Harden, who won’t win a title in Brooklyn the way he hasn’t won one anywhere else.
...So now they get James Harden, and they put him with Durant, even as they are probably having more buyers’ remorse than ever with Kyrie Irving, who will eventually and inevitably play his way out of the Barclays Center the way he played his way out of Cleveland, and Boston. And when Irving did leave the Celtics, they were as happy seeing him go as Harden’s former teammates were in Houston. 

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