COMMENTARY – The duel over the state of New York has taken a turn for the worse.
The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have made headlines across ESPN, SportCenter, and other sporting outlets, for their level of play. This cross-town rivalry had all the makings of a tick-for-tack showdown and would propel the state of New York back into a position of basketball relevance.
However, that hasn’t worked out too well. Both franchises are playing at a level of mediocrity and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference: the Knicks at 3-13 and the Nets at 5-13. Players have already started to voice their frustration about the direction of the organization and the input from the fans isn’t far behind. All is not well. Carmelo Anthony even realizes that the Knicks aren’t playing their best basketball as he referred to them as the “laughingstock of the NBA” before today’s cross-town battle against the Brooklyn Nets.
Before anyone gets too frantic and hits the panic button, there is still an opportunity to maintain fan stability. With a little elbow grease and creative marketing management both New York teams could soon get the fans back in their corner and ultimately begin cheering the teams on to victory.
Here are three marketing ideas that each organization should look into to promote their rivalry.
1. Race to Redemption
On Facebook, a “Race to Redemption” page should be created. The page will offer box scores after every respective Knicks and Nets game. Details of their current record, winning or losing streak, and upcoming schedule could help provide user friendly information. Also, advanced stats, shooting charts, fatigue metrics, and just about any data collected from SportVU will be available.
Highlight videos and photos add a visual element that relates to the stats. The page will allow fans to “like” posts and spark conversation by commenting, arguing, and ranting their basketball knowledge. Player reactions, along with post-game interviews, offer more access into the mindset of individual players and the approach of the team.
Posts of each team’s historical relevance can also be included. How far is Carmelo Anthony to being the Knicks all-time leading scorer? What is Deron Williams’ ranking as the Nets all-time assist leader, which can be a bit tricky after the team moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn? Have these two teams squared off in the postseason before?
It will basically act as a representation of NBA.com in which the fans can interact with.
2. Social Media King of New York
Both teams are stacked with former All-Stars and future first-ballot hall-of-famers. Add that with complimenting role players and a resourceful coaching staff and you have all the makings of an epic rivalry. Each team has a bunch of individual talent at every position. The question is, who is better? Not only do the two teams squaring off four times during the regular season, and maybe more if they reach the playoffs against each other, but they should also compete in a best-of-13 guatlet.
Twitter will act as the stomping ground for the “Social Media King of New York”. In this 13-week battle, player positions match up as fans vote on their favorite.
How the contest goes is that side-by-side photographs of two respective players are displayed with their season stats in a corner. Fans then vote by retweeting a tweet if they support a Knicks player and favorite a tweet if they support a Nets player. At the end of the week, the retweets and favorites are tallied up and a victory is given to a team. The contest goes on until 12 players and the head coach have been voted upon.
It can be a bit tricky because both teams are dealing with a severe amount of injuries and their lineups are not in an ideal condition. However, it’d be best to utilize the best players. For example, the Knicks would matchup center Tyson Chandler against Brook Lopez of the Nets’. Although the lineups aren’t as theorized and playing time changes game-by-game, both teams have enough talented contributors to make this a fair, balanced, and competitive fight. ALL HAIL THE KING OF NEW YORK!
Note: The tweets are to come from the official NBA Twitter account only.
3. New York Bloopers
Player mishaps are just as common as player highlights. As you witness a high flying reverse dunk, you could just as quickly see the same player mishandle a pass or lose the ball off his head. Sometimes I just wait for Ashton Kutcher to jump onto the court and tell me I’ve been Punk’d.
It’s one thing to witness the player mishaps, but getting digital proof and sharing it is another story.
An Instagram contest, New York Bloopers, will offer a variety of hilarious misfortunes from the state of New York. Whether you personally attend a game or happen to get a snapshot from the television, you can upload it to a global audience. Using the hashtags #NYKBloopers and #BKNBloopers allows for fans to easily search for embarrassing and awkward situations. The amount of mishaps is endless. As New York debuts this feature it could quickly catch on with the rest of the NBA and sweep over the entire social media world.
Knicks and Nets fans are looking for anything to give them hope that their team will get it together. As the season goes on and their records hopefully improve, there may be more opportunities for fans to get involved in the action. Although they can’t take the court and compete the various social media battles will be just as competitive. There may be satisfaction in knowing that you represented your team well online, even if they can’t do the same on the court. These are the types of things that get you pumped to watch New York basketball.