by Anne Rivers – January 2013
Whose brand is bigger? Knicks or Nets?
What happens to teams as they move cities? Do people miss the Seattle SuperSonics? The LA Rams? How about moving the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn?
Some New Jersey residents may miss the Nets, but the general public and basketball fans already believe the move was a good one.
[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Three Takeaways
- BAV Consulting tracks the value of over 3500 brands, including pro franchises, each quarter from over 17,000 nationally representative consumers.
- Energized differentiation–being perceived as authentic, independent, dynamic, and unique–is what drives the value of sports franchises and brands.
- Sponsors (Barclays) gain measurable brand value through a clear association with a dynamic franchise (Brooklyn Nets). [/dropshadowbox]
Each pro team and another 3,500 brands are tracked in the BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) database. Beginning in 1993, we now collect opinions from over 17,000 respondents every quarter to track brand values. What do we know about the Nets since they moved?
In the BAV, the Brooklyn Nets are more differentiated, more relevant and have more momentum than the New Jersey Nets. People believe the new team brand is more authentic, independent, dynamic and unique. They want to learn more about The Nets since moving to Brooklyn.
Why this new fervor? The borough would be the fourth largest city if it could secede from New York City. Brooklyn itself is a powerful brand. Residents say they are from Brooklyn, not New York. Brooklyn’s popularity is at a high. The city’s brand is admired and relevant to residents and those outside of New York.
Will the Brooklyn Nets brand benefit Brooklyn? The Nets have a head start with a new, revamped team black and white color logo consistent with Brooklyn cool. Simple and bold in nature, the logo reflects Brooklyn’s essence: raw, authentic and edgy. The team interweaves Brooklyn essence, imbibing all of the history and culture Brooklyn has to offer. Appropriately, JAY Z, the creator of the logo, was raised in Brooklyn and popularizes the borough through his music.
Barclays sponsors the Nets new home, gaining invaluable brand equity. Compared to the general public, the Barclays brand is more differentiated among basketball fans. They believe the brand is more relevant and highly regarded. Through the Barclays Center, Barclays is becoming more distinctive to basketball fans and proves it is up–to–date, visionary, friendly, obliging, down-to-earth, authentic, different and dynamic. All these are rare components for a financial services brand.
New Competition in Town
The Brooklyn Nets’s move into Knick’s territory should renew concerns for the Knicks. New York now has a formidable adversary on and off the court in terms of brand image. From our data, we know brand image helps drive ticket and merchandise sales as well as share of mind and heart. The Brooklyn Nets already surpass the Knicks in “Admired Difference,” a BAV® construct measuring a combination of fan appreciation for team differentiation, momentum and regard often likened to brand love.
Brooklyn is the hip and cool underdog with momentum and love among the fans and the public. The Knicks are viewed as prestigious, traditional and still the leader. Who will win this battle of the brands? Sure, winning always helps. But the consistent brand winner will weave its way into the community and harness the love of consumers and their common passions.
The Manager’s Take
by Eric Kussin, Vice President of Sales & Service, New Jersey Devils
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I can see why the Nets move to Brooklyn is a brand equity boon to both the Nets and Barclays. Having grown up in the New York/New Jersey, I can see why the move to Brooklyn has been a positive one for the Nets.
1) The move to Brooklyn gave the Nets the opportunity to break the stigma of “a team sharing an outdated building out in East Rutherford” (which was difficult to get to by mass transit). East Rutherford had always been looked at as the inconvenient home of Giants Stadium (now Met Life Stadium), where an arena for an NBA and NHL team just happened to be in close proximity.
2) The Nets now have their own new home in a state-of-the-art facility, convenient by subway from anywhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as anywhere in Long Island from the LIRR and on to connecting subways. You get out of the subway and the arena is literally right in front of you.
3) A smart move was changing the colors and logo (maybe not such a popular move to the fans in New Jersey that they were leaving behind)…as a “launch” of their new relationship with their new home in a new borough and with new fans in the area. Black and white is a stark contrast from red and blue. Brooklyn has been starving for a major professional sports team to return for decades now, and the finally have one. For Brooklyn to take real ownership of this team as “their team” the organization owed it to them to introduce a new color scheme and a new logo that fit the new neighborhood and the team and ownership attitude.
4) Whether it translates to long term success on the court or not, in moving to a new arena, new colors, new logos, the team also needed to show they were putting a new and fresh product out on the floor. While they kept some of the pieces they were building around in New Jersey – like Deron Williams and Coach Johnson, they added some new pieces like Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace to the mix. Adding new players to the mix went along with all the “new” they were introducing. It tied the on-court theme with the off-court theme.
Special thanks to KennySun for the cover photo (http://normalmag.com/).