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May 15, 2012

The "moral limits of markets" and the Atlantic Yards impact: naming rights, sponsorships, and visas for sale

Atlantic Yards Report

Yes, the luxury suites and sponsorships needed to pay for the enormously expensive Barclays Center are part of a questionable trend. So is the credit to the Barclays Nets Community Alliance for playgrounds it has helped refurbished. And so is the green-cards-for-jobs scheme used to save Atlantic Yards developer tens of millions of dollars.

In case you missed it, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Sunday wrote This Column Is Not Sponsored by Anyone, taking off from Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel’s new book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. (Here's an excerpt from The Atlantic).

Sandel might be thought of as the anti-Brett Yormark, as the Nets/Barclays Center CEO has tried to monetize nearly everything to do with the team/arena, and, in the wake of experience finding sponsors for soccer jerseys and NASCAR gear, is ready to sell sponsorship space on NBA uniforms.

He told Sports Business Daily, "You can monetize this in ways you can’t monetize any other kind of marketing inventory." Indeed. Because the arena and team are, in the words of developer Bruce Ratner, a "civic" endeavor.

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Posted by eric at May 15, 2012 11:16 AM