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SBJ/June 30-July 6, 2014/Franchises
Hospital names Nets’ new practice facility
Published June 30, 2014, Page 8
The Nets’ practice facility is set to open before the 2015-16 season.
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The orthopedic hospital’s team rights with the Nets start with the 2014-15 season. The hospital is no stranger to sports marketing, as it also has medical and commercial relationships with the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Red Bulls, several local universities, the New York Road Runners/New York Marathon and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Hospital for Special Surgery is the latest of a plethora of health care providers to brand practice facilities for pro teams. Hospital President and CEO Lou Shapiro said that “taking care of athletes who need their bodies to perform at the highest levels is a validation of what we do, so we’re hoping more professional athletes, even outside of the Nets, will come to us for care. From a consumer perspective, we look for a halo effect from the association to help influence awareness and choice.”
Hospital for Special Surgery has been a business partner and provided team medical care to the Nets for some time. However, when the Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012, the team was seeking local roots, so it signed Maimonides Medical Center as the team’s official hospital. Under the new agreement, Hospital for Special Surgery becomes the “official hospital of the Brooklyn Nets,” while Maimonides’ new designation is “hometown hospital of the Brooklyn Nets.” Additionally, Brooklyn Hospital has a deal through which it is the “official hospital of the Barclays Center.”
Dr. Riley J. Williams III, a surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery who has been the team’s medical director since the 2005-06 season, will see his role expanded as the Nets’ head orthopedic surgeon. Shapiro emphasized Hospital for Special Surgery’s authentic medical ties as a principal reason behind the naming-rights deal.
“If you’re not actually taking care of the players, it’s just like being the official car,” he said.
The Nets’ practice facility has been in East Rutherford, N.J., since 1998. When that facility is shuttered next year, it will mark the team’s last connection to the Garden State, where it moved from Long Island in 1977.