Nets Make An All-Star Push To Remain Relevant…

How does a brand which is not necessarily always top of mind find ways to remain relevant in a very crowded marketplac. Ask the New Jersey Nets. In a season that has been somewhat less than expected in terms of on-court performance, and has seen questions raised about the team's long-anticipated move to Brooklyn, the Nets continue to squeeze every possible opportunity to remain brand relevent. This week the team put out a CEO Challenge, with companies literally competin. against each other in five on five basketball with a chance to gain a free partnership with the Nets next season. It is the latest in a series of ways which the team has tried to connect with the casual fan and business partner who might not have a daily reason to be exposed to the value of Nets basketball. Also on the brand relevance side was the teams’ push to assis. guard Devin Harris a. an all-star. The task to garner All-Star selection amongst the media is not easy, especially for an underachieving team that does not gain great national TV exposure. However by creating and then pushing a fun viral campaign and working both through the media, with fan votes and behind the scenes, Harris will be part of the East team in Phoenix in a few weeks. Now does Devin Harris as an all-star help the team in brand relevance in the marketplac.? Hard to say for sure but there is certainly no downside in the effort, and it gives the Nets, having a young, new All-Star, something else to talk about with their partners and fans. Juxtapose the position of the Knicks, which had coach Mike D’Antoni downplaying the potential of David Lee as an All-Star across the river, and you can see how much the Nets seem to be more interested in selling the sizzle and the current brand relevance in the marketplace. With little to no push, Lee, despite having All-Star numbers, did not make the team. The Nets push with Harris is reflective of all they try to do to make the brand fresh, and in down times that effort becomes even more important. Both the CEO Challenge and Harris' selection were All-Star moves for the franchise on the brand side.

Some other good reads…Michael Wilbon in the Washingon Post has some thoughts on the relevance of the Super Bowl as it relates to past extravaganzas….Yahoo Sports has a piece on the demise of the Birds’ Nest in Beijing…Richard Sandomir in the New York Times has a good piece on how athletes have leveraged Super Bowl exposure…Barry Janoff has a good q and a with Bridgestone’. John Baratta on how they continue to use big events to keep brand relevence…and the New York Post has a good piece on the College of Charleston's Bobby Cremins and his resurrection with the Cougars