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April 26, 2009

The Yormark rules? Rumblings of uneasiness at Nets' practice of courting sponsors

Atlantic Yards Report

In recent days, there has been speculation as to whether Lawrence Frank, coach of the Nets, will be retained for another season. One consideration is whether a new coach might have a conflict with Nets marketing initiatives.

NetsDaily blogger NetIncome (aka Bobbo) pointed out a couple of blog entries on the Star-Ledger/NJ.com web site, which both Matthew McQueeny and Dave D’Alessandro questioned whether a new coach would accept the team's apparent practice of letting sponsors and other big spenders access to practices and the team's plane.

The answer was no--a suggestion that current coach Lawrence Frank may be a better fit with team management than some critics think.

Unmentioned is the source of the policy, but a major influence--as NetIncome suggested--must be Nets CEO Brett Yormark, an uber-marketer who's regularly devising ways to court sponsors.

Included is this "speculative" exchange between Brett Yormark and team president Rod Thorn:

[Thorn] “Look, I’ve got an idea for you: Why don’t you dial this number — a guy named Jeff Van Gundy is awaiting your call.”
[Yormark] “Okay. And what should I do when he answers?”
[Thorn] “Tell him you’re hiring him to be the next coach of the Nets.”
[Yormark] “That’s it?”
[Thorn] “And then ask him how he feels about your filling up all the empty seats on the team plane with corporate clients, or having sponsors crash practice at your whim. Let us all know what he thinks of that idea.”
(Twenty seconds of silence)
[Yormark] “You know, I’ve always liked Lawrence.”

The entry concludes:

If the Nets are having a tough time now, imagine what kind of access Yormark's promising sponsors in Brooklyn?

link

Posted by steve at April 26, 2009 8:02 AM