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December 28, 2010

Ratner: construction is easier than "getting there"; Jay-Z's ad agency tapped to pitch Nets tickets starting in February

Atlantic Yards Report

The news from the Sports Business Journal article 12/20/10 (embedded below, as reproduced on the Barclays Center web site), is not merely the effort to dispel confusion about whether the project is happening and how sports and family events are already scheduled, as noted in the headline Barclays Center pitch: We're here and have a lot going on.

It's an oblique reflection by the man behind the project:

"Construction is the easy part," assured Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Cos., developer of the Barclays Center and the associated 16-building Atlantic Yards mixed-use project. "Getting there is hard."

It's also a statement from a Barclays rep that the naming rights agreement is "a fantastic opportunity to build our brand," a quote that might give pause to the state officials who simply gave away naming rights.

Enter Translation

And, more importantly, it's the presence of Translation, a new ad agency co-owned by Jay-Z and aimed at the multicultural, youth market. Sports Business Journal reports:

"We are building an identity," said John McBride, director of the strategy group at agency Translation, newly hired to coordinate marketing behind the Nets' move to Brooklyn and the new arena. "When we are interviewing [Nets'] season-ticket holders, there is still a question of 'Is it real?' There are still people confused as to whether or not this is going to happen."

...[Brett] Yormark said the building has eight of the 12 founding partners sold, with others being pursued in the airline, insurance and domestic car categories. Suites, which range from $295,000 to $550,000, are almost 40 percent sold, with some more sales help via the New Meadowlands Stadium being added for an expected push early next year. Translation, another commercial entity in which Jay-Z and Steve Stoute have an interest, has been hired to orchestrate the first pitch for "Brooklyn Nets" tickets, with initial ads expected in February.

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Posted by eric at December 28, 2010 9:47 AM