SBD/May 2, 2012/Franchises

A Bridge To Tomorrow: Rebranded Brooklyn Nets Merchandise Flying Off Shelves

Monday was the second-largest web traffic day on since the start of the '11-12 season due in large part to the Nets unveiling their rebranding efforst in conjunction with their move to Brooklyn, and Nets merchandise represents 27% of total sales for the day combined on the website and the NBA Store in N.Y. Since the launch of the rebrand, the Nets have been the top-selling team overall on and at the physical store. Sales on Monday were more than double the total sales for the entire ‘10-11 season. Modell's, the Nets' official sporting goods retailer, sold more Nets merchandise Monday than all of last season (NBA). In L.A., Chuck Schilken writes the relocation of the team is a "new beginning for the sports-deprived fans of Brooklyn." Schilken: "Hopefully, it also will be a fresh start for a franchise that has suffered a dramatic fall in recent years.” If the new logo “symbolizes a return to the glory years for Brooklyn sports fans, one can only hope that all the change can also bring about a return to glory for the team as well” (L.A. TIMES, 5/2).

STARTING OVER: In New Orleans, Jeff Duncan reports more than 86% of 5,035 respondents in a poll indicated that Hornets Owner Tom Benson "should change the Hornets' name." Benson has repeatedly stated he wants to give the team a new name that more reflects the New Orleans region, but a name change "likely won't become a reality before 2014." Duncan writes Benson and his management team “would be wise to consider the rebranding job” done by the Nets. Whether fans are “gaga over the spartan urban look or not, you can’t argue with the strategy behind it,” and the Hornets’ rebranding “needs to be planned just as carefully because you only get one chance to do this -- and it must be done right.” Duncan: “There’s been talk of changing the color scheme to the Saints’ black and gold combination. In my mind, that would be a mistake. The Hornets need to be treated as a separate entity. They aren’t, as one executive said recently, ‘Saints Light.’” Meanwhile, the name Dukes “has gained some currency in local circles," and Duncan writes it is "starting to grow on me” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/2).
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