NBA Players Sports Business

NJ Nets Offering Floor Seats and…Dinner With Devin Harris?

Devin Harris

With the state of the economy today, organizations across the board are forced to come up with innovative promotions and marketing ideas to help generate revenue. The NBA is feeling the downturn like anyone else, and some teams are feeling it more than others. The New Jersey Nets are one team that is actively promoting their season ticket packages through unconventional means. Their two more innovative packages include both offering reversible jerseys with other team’s players opposite their own, and personal player appearances as a part of season ticket packages.

The Nets are embracing the fans who unfortunately may be coming out to see their opponents more so than Nets players with their “Match-Up Plan.”  The “Match-Up Plan” includes tickets to 10 games against popular teams, and more importantly, popular visiting players. Also included in the package is five reversible jerseys with a Nets player on one side and the jersey of LeBron James, Kobe Bryan, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade and Kevin Garnett on the opposite side.

The second interesting season ticket package is certainly geared for the fans with deeper pockets. The Nets will offer a discounted floor seat package for $25,000 that will include four courtside seats for 10 games (at $750 each per ticket it would be $30,000 value). More importantly, this package will offer the fan the opportunity to have a Nets player make a one hour appearance of their choosing. That’s right, Devin Harris at your wedding, child’s birthday party or just over for dinner.

According to Nets Chief Executive Brett Yormark, the players will not be compensated for the appearances. Under the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are required to make seven individual personal appearances, with at least two of those seven in connection with season ticket holder events. Clearly these appearances will be applied to the player’s required promotional appearances as opposed to the traditional meet and greet type of events. As a result, fans will be limited in their player options as we can expect Devin Harris’ obligations to be filled quickly, him being their most popular player.

These promotions are certainly innovative and are excellent examples of recognizing the demographic and using it to your advantage. As Brett Yormark explained, there were a number of courtside seats still available, and he often gets calls from season ticket holders about player appearances. With the allotted player appearances required by the CBA they were able to package them in such a way that will likely enable them to sell more premium priced floor seats. One can only be curious too see what the Nets next big promotion is.