SBD/April 12, 2013/Franchises

Nets Launch Postseason "Blackout" Campaign; Jay-Z Raps About Selling Stake In Team

The Nets for the postseason are introducing a "Blackout in Brooklyn" campaign, during which "arena brass plan to cover most of" Barclays Center in the team's "black-and-white colors -- even the food that'll be served," according to Rich Calder of the N.Y. POST. The goal of the campaign is to encourage fans to increase "home-court advantage by dressing in team colors during playoff games and also sport black-and-white attire in honor of the Nets outside the arena, too." Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said, "This is a huge moment for us and the borough, and it's time to celebrate." Images of Nets stars in "a black-and-white motif will be plastered throughout the arena." Even playoff tickets "are being printed in black and white" (NYPOST.com, 4/12).

FACE OF THE FRANCHISE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay writes it is a "bummer" that Nets investor Jay-Z is "in the process of divesting his small stake" in the team in order to expand his new agency Roc Nation Sports to the NBA. Jay-Z delivered a "great deal to a team he reportedly owned just a tiny fraction of." He brought "instant glamor to a team that was about as glamorous as a tuna sandwich left in the trunk." As Barclays Center took shape, Jay-Z "got involved in the thick of the planning." His "fingerprints remain everywhere." In lieu of "a Nets face, he became the face" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/12).

ON THE ATTACK: In N.Y., Farber & Brown note Jay-Z in a new track that was "recorded and released in 24 hours ... insists he's cashing out of the Brooklyn Nets -- but not abandoning the borough or its arena." Jay-Z in the track says, "Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free/Except I made millions off it, you f--in' dweeb." The message comes "on the heels of Jay's announcement he will sell" his share in the Nets. Jay-Z in the track continues, "I still own the building, I'm still keeping my seat/Y'all buy that bulls--t/you'd better keep your receipt." A source said that the "dweebs" he referenced "were not Brooklynites buying into the new team." A source said that the team "doesn't believe the lyrics were aimed at them, but rather at critics who've poked fun at Jay-Z's tiny stake in the franchise" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/12). Also In N.Y., Bob Fredericks notes Nets fans and other critics recently have "poked fun at" Jay-Z's 1/15 of 1% stake in the Nets. But the "reason behind the rhymes remained unclear, as did the identity of the 'f--kin' dweeb' that was the focus of his wrath" (N.Y. POST, 4/12).
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Brooklyn Nets, Franchises

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