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March 12, 2009

Seeing through the marketing hype from the Nets and other sports teams

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder rounds up a couple articles looking, one skeptically and the other not so, at the "compassion" of pro sports outfits during hard economic times. The source stories follow.

The Nets get some props from Forbes for offering "free tickets to unemployed fans who posted their résumés to the team's online job bank," but Forbes doesn't grapple with the knotty issue of food vouchers.

Seeing through the hype

Meanwhile, Bloomberg columnist Scott Soshnick sees through the sports marketing hype, commenting, in Depression-Minded Sports Teams Show Desperation, that teams (like the Nets) trumpeting no-risk ticket plans are finally recognizing "the concept of treating the customer fairly, offering value."

"Sadly, it took an economic calamity for most teams to make available the kinds of fan-friendly offerings that should have been standard practice long ago," he writes.

"Every pro sports team claims to be a source of civic pride," Soshnick observes. "And then they try to extract every last penny from the customers they’re supposed to represent."


NoLandGrab: That's only after they've extracted every last penny from the taxpayers to build their arenas and stadiums.

Bloomberg.com, Depression-Minded Sports Teams Show Desperation

Let’s not pretend these what-can-we-do-for-you ideas stem from altruism, no matter what the press releases say. They’re born of desperation.

Forbes.com, Opportunistic Ad Plays: Marketing To The Unemployed

Amazingly, the Nets are still getting mileage out of this ticket-giveaway scheme hatched several months ago.

Also in November, the National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets offered free tickets to unemployed fans who posted their résumés to the team's online job bank. As a part of the promotion, the team said it would forward resumes to sponsors and corporate ticket holders. More recently, the Nets have announced they'll refund 2009 season tickets to anyone who lost an income after buying the tickets.

Posted by eric at March 12, 2009 9:11 AM