For most teams success hinges on making the playoffs, and then advancing in them. That was the benchmark for the New Jersey Nets, whose recent teams netted two NBA Finals appearances this decade. This season the Nets are sitting out the postseason for the first time in seven years. They should be sad, and maybe they are. They won’t let that keep them down, as they’re having playoff events without the playoffs themselves.
The Nets and T-Mobile have teamed up for a promotion called “Stay Connected,” which over a three week stretch will host events allowing fans to have lunch with Nets dancers, participate in a Porsche driving school, and play in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Perhaps the best event is the chance to watch other rival teams face-off in the playoffs with Nets coach Lawrence Frank. Perhaps winners will learn from Frank how those teams managed to beat them time and again this past season.
In previous years teams such as the Bulls and Cavaliers have also created similar promotions with T-Mobile. Of course, those teams also happened to make the playoffs too. But just because the Nets couldn’t win on the court doesn’t mean they have to lose off it too.
“We typically are in the playoffs for April through May, and those weeks after the regular season are typically a big period for us to drive sales, but we don’t have that this year,” said Brett Yormark, president and chief executive officer of Nets Sports & Entertainment. “So we have had to manufacture a period of time to create a sense of urgency and to stay engaged with our fans.”The saying goes that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. The Nets are taking this to heart in their own version. If you don’t make the playoffs, just find a different way to sell the playoffs.