June 10, 2010: The team is called the Nets, but they might as well be the phoenix, the mythical bird that is reborn from a fire of its own ashes.
The Nets went 12-70 in 2009-10, among the worst records in NBA history. But in 2010-11 the Nets will have a new principal owner in Mikhail Prokhorov; a new home with the team moving from the Izod Center to Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, until settling in its permanent home, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, whose planned completion is expected for the 2011-12 season; and new head coach, Avery Johnson.
The Nets are using this, plus the presence of part owner Jay-Z, to attract the attention of free agent LeBron James.
Under the direction of Brett Yormark, CEO of Nets Basketball and Brooklyn Sports Entertainment, there has been no shortage of marketing power. The team's Web site lists nearly 90 marketing partners, including Aflac, Canon, LG, McDonald's. Gatorade, Sony, State Farm and TD Bank.
The Nets also have a formidable group of companies that have signed on as partners for the Barclays Center: ADT, EmblemHealth, Haier, MetroPCS, Cushman & Wakefield, MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Jones Soda Co., Phillips-Van Heusen, Anheuser-Busch and High Point Solutions. Financial firm Barclays has a 20-year naming rights deal for the venue.
The Nets have been running a multi-media campaign touting the team's resurgence and season tickets for next season, including TV during the NBA Finals, print and Internet, and also have signed a new sponsor for its off-season, Cure Auto Insurance. Cure's presenting sponsorship will run until the opening day of training camp. The Princeton, NJ-based company will continue as a partner of Nets Basketball throughout the 2010-11 season.
Cure Auto Insurance will be included on all Nets communications, including press banners, press releases, e-mail campaigns, the team's Web site and advertising. The company also will have presence on all materials associated with basketball clinics, community programs, season ticket holder events, ticket sales collateral, the team’s 2010 NBA Draft Party, and auditions for the Nets’ entertainment teams.
“The Nets will be generating a lot of attention this summer and our partnership will enable us to be part of the excitement and strengthen our awareness in the marketplace in a unique way,” Eric Poe, COO for Cure Auto Insurance, said in a statement.
As part of this alliance, the Nets’ Facebook and Twitter pages are running a Cure Auto Insurance NBA Draft VIP sweepstakes in which four grand prize winners will receive exclusive access to draft-related experiences staged by the Nets.
Avery Johnson, who has been working for ESPN as an NBA analyst, coached the Dallas Mavericks for more than three seasons, going 194-70 and leading the team to the NBA Finals in 2006, but losing to the Miami Heat, He was fired after the 2007-08 season following a first-round playoff loss to the New Orleans Hornets.