Bad Marketing 101: Brett Yormark/Brooklyn Strategy

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/03/2013 03:46:00 PM |
The New York Islanders change their website look every year around this time, the most notable thing for me is you can immediately chat with a live sales representative on site.

Our fans better purchase tickets whether it be the Coliseum or Barclay's Center. 

Is Brett Yormark, brother of Florida Panthers President, Michael Yormark that misguided or is his employer demanding these marketing decisions for the Brooklyn Nets now (New York Islanders moving forward) or does someone not want him to make the most revenue he can for his employer?

Mr Yormark was hired in 2005 by the Nets. In 2012 he discussed how he marketed the team while it remained in New Jersey.
Just two years ago, Yormark was arguing with spectators at the Izod Center to take bags off their heads (pictured above). He was coming up with shameful ways to get people to the arena, giving away reversible jerseys with the opposing team on the one side, and offering free tax returns to anybody purchasing a Nets ticket. Yormark was marketing the unmarketable -- a lameduck, terrible team.

“I needed that moment. It kind of crystallized things for me. Also, I used that moment to reflect. And I reflected on some of those challenges moments in Jersey, some of the phone calls with Bruce (Ratner) where we knew we had a daunting task in front of us. “But we found a will and a way.”

There is a David Seldin feel to this when he came to the Islanders to work for Howard Milstein from the Jacksonville Jaguars long ago. 

The Barclay's Center in year one was a success because it was brand new. It did not sell all those event tickets because every act/concert/whatever wore black and re-branded themselves Brooklyn, and the same goes for the Nets. 

The Nets since leaving the Nassau Coliseum have been called everything whether it be New York/New Jersey or simply Nets, wearing practically every color scheme, including some black.

The Nets have had attendance years to rival the Islanders, even with the demographics/coverage for basketball far easier than hockey, still they had crowds around 10,000 at Prudential Center. 

Who moves a basketball team into the New York City market, then makes tens of millions of potential customers in Manhattan/other boroughs/tri state area feel like they are not your team unless the idea is alienate possible customers?

Great Marketing 101 in June 2010.

Did the Mets decided to call themselves Queens when they temporarily opened up shop at the Polo Grounds, then move to Shea Stadium in 1964, and market themselves as Queens team? Of course not.

Did the New York Highlanders between name changes to Yankees, or moves to the Polo Grounds/South Bronx who shared the Polo Grounds with the baseball NY Giants decide to name themselves Bronx? Ridiculous. 

The New Jersey Devils got it right, and never saw the need to call themselves Newark or East Rutherford.

The New York Red Bull also refuse to acknowledge their home state, which financed their new stadium.

The WNBA Liberty changed their name to Fox woods Casino during last season, but changed back in 2013, as they play at Prudential Center.

It would be an easy generational sell here to write the Brooklyn Dodgers moved because of branding, however that would be untrue for many reasons. Baseball's New York Giants also moved. 

There are two football teams in New Jersey that refuse to acknowledge the state they play home games in since 1976/1984, along with an entire league, and it's media including an upcoming Superbowl. Guess why?

Even the re-re-re-re restored decades later New York Cosmos saw the value was in it's name/history, as they currently play at Hofstra. Nassau County of all places has not messed that up yet.

In two years (perhaps one) the New York Islanders will re-locate, and at the very least play all but four regular season home games at the Barclay's Center at a point any buzz about a new facility or a new team will be long gone.  

Charles Wang said the colors/logo will not change while he remains owner, and is not selling. Whether you agree or not make no mistake you don't gain more customers because you confine your brand to one borough.

This is how you lose customers, restrict business, generate less revenue. New York City/Tri State Area is New York Islander County, that logo/tradition is special like no other US based hockey franchise.

The Nets never had that to market themselves.  

That is how Mr Yormark/his employer should be marketing this team all over New York City, Long Island, and the entire Tri State Area. The Nets owner started great putting his billboard up (above) outside Msg as New York's team. What happened since the club relocated has reflected the exact opposite.

Bad Marketing 101. 

Unlike the Nets past our teams fans have historically packed Msg, and filled the Meadowlands, with it's New York fan base. Enough video/articles have been posted to support this, and as Mr Wang said in 2011 (pre referendum) & 2012 forty percent of his season ticket base came from inside NYC limits in WFAN audio interviews posted here.

Mr Yormark included a comment one month before Islanders announcement that should be see as a cautionary tale for our fan-base in the above article.

 “I think the moment’s even bigger than I expected,” says Yormark.” I think this is so big that many of us won’t have a moment like this again.”

The New York Islanders will require such a moment.