You only worry about the things you can control. That should be the slogan for the Nets this year. Their sales and marketing staff cannot worry about the injuries, the fired coach, the record losing streak, they just have to find a way to keep a brand relevant in a year of transition and uncertainty.. New owner, a Russian billionaire, new city and arena, first maybe Newark and then maybe, finally Brooklyn. To date, four wins…three of which have been on a full moon (I looked it up). Yet with all that, an argument can be made that the casual fan in the New York area may have more exposure to the Nets than all the other teams playing this winter in the area combined. In the last few weeks, the Nets marketing plans for a 4-40 team were featured in the New York Times, ESPN Magazine ran a contest to let a fan draw up a play and run it during a game, their dancers have been on countless morning shows and on and on and on.
Does it add up to wins or even selling tickets at a brisk pace when the team is so ba. No. But it does show that the team still is willing to fight for relevance even when performance is so low…they value their brand, their position and their future and are not willing to give in. That's a very tough thing for a team so far down to do. Not only do you have to fight for relevance, but you actually have to convince the world's most skeptical media that there is a reason for even a second of coverage. Now the Nets are playing with one thing in their favor…right now they are the worst team in the NBA, and with that comes a sort of gallows humor that people like. Jets fans were more forgiving with their 1-15 team than any 8-8 squad, and the Mets were more loveable with 120 losses than 82. Mediocrity gets you nowhere…you either sell hope for the future or success in the present, and with four wins we know where the Nets are selling. Looking around pro sports, it would be hard to find any other franchise that has been so bad yet has stayed in the public eye.
They have smart, likeable young players, a cerebral coach, a good TV presence in the YES Network, and only an upside in terms of brand growth. Some may say their stunts and their need for attention is just becuase the product is so bad. S.? Just for staying relevant when many would have said they were irrelevant, the Nets should get great brand credit and set an example for those with more wins and more to work with.