PR Move of the Day: While battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, while at the same time looking to shed the final ties to Jason Kidd (and move on to Devin Harris), the New Jersey Nets continue to find solid and aggressive ways to promote product and build brand equity in a crowded marketplace. Regardless of recent on court success against Utah and Cleveland, the organization landed solid “wins” on the media messaging front, including a great piece on CEO Brett Yormark on Portfolio.com, another front page business piece in the Newark Star Ledger on the Nets ticket renewal kickoff with execs phoning subscribers, and notes in the Bergen Record about other details of the unique plan, which has early renewals getting a signed Julius Erving Nets jersey, a great connection to the past. Now several teams will launch ticket renewal plans with added incentives as the season winds down, but the Nets send a very strong message to the fans and to the business community with their multi-pronged approach (not dictated by wins and losses) that they believe and have confidence in their brand, and will go the extra mile for those fans and partners who support them.
Also on the NBA front, the Toronto Sun had a nice piece this past week on the NBA's forward push toward the Olympics, introducing a series of commemorative cups with McDonald's. Now it may not seem unique, but the branding of these athletes and tieing them from McDonald's All-Americans to potential Olympic stars is a great move to build brand identity before most other Olympians are activating, while the NBA season is still ongoing. Also, the all hands pr work for referee Bob Delaney's great book Covert continued over the weekend, with a very strong CNN featureLeBron James branding machine will make him just the third male ever to grace the cover of Vogue.. Very few places and angles this unique story had yet to be told, and each piece is both spun and placed in a different angle from the others. All the efforts are yet more examples of the NBA having as strong a season off the court as on, with the playoffs yet to come.
On to some additional March Madness ties…great messaging story send out by Florida's Billy Donovan today, banning his team from the practice facility for “a sense of entitlement.” The piece sends messages loud and clear to all athletes on many levels about the coach's committment to excellence…good piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Jarvis Hayes of the Pistons using UGA's run to inspire him to a career night for Detroit, while Rich Hoffman in the Philly Daily News has a solid piece on the bond between NCAA-bound Temple and St. Joe's…and the Indy Star's Bob Kravitz takes a look at the rough road all the Indiana entries have in the field of 65.