SBD/January 4, 2011/Franchises

Knicks, Rangers Luring Back Fans As They Return To Winning Ways

The Knicks and NHL Rangers are "winning back fans by winning games in entertaining fashion" at MSG, according to a sports-section cover story by Brady & McCarthy of USA TODAY. This season is "shaping up as the first time both will make the playoffs" in the same year since '97. Rangers RW Ryan Callahan: "You have two teams from New York that are relevant at the same time -- and both making a push toward the playoffs. It's good for the city of New York -- and for the Garden." The timing of the Knicks-Rangers resurgence "couldn't be better for MSG." There is "construction everywhere" around the arena, which is "in the midst of a three-year, $775 million inside-out transformation." The Knicks are "playing to 99.6% capacity and the Rangers to 98.9%." The Knicks are "sold out of season tickets for the first time since 2001-02, and they have attracted 17 new corporate sponsors," while the Rangers "have 18 new corporate sponsors." In addition, national networks are "back to broadcasting New York games." The Knicks "were scheduled to be on ESPN seven times this season compared with three last season -- and on TNT four times compared with none last season." Likewise, Callahan believes that the Rangers' success is "good for" the NHL. Callahan: "There's no question New York's a big market and a big selling point for the NHL. We sell out almost every game. To have that for the revenue is really big, too. We're constantly trying to sell the game" (USA TODAY, 1/4).

FULL-COURT PRESS: The N.Y. POST reported the Knicks have introduced an "innovative All-Star campaign including a mash-up video featuring" C Amar'e Stoudemire, G Raymond Felton and F Danilo Gallinari, as well as an interactive fan voting site, The "One Step At A Time" video, produced by DJ Steve Porter, "features exciting highlights of the three players on the All-Star 2011 ballot." The website "has a unique element where fans can get involved with the campaign by uploading personalized videos of their 'number one reason' to vote for the three Knicks," and "step-by-step instructions can be found on the site along with some of the top prizes for the best video submissions." The deadline for the fan video submissions is Jan. 10 (N.Y. POST, 1/2).

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