Marketing opposing players has long been a practice in the NBA, at least for the last 20 years when Michael Jordan started filling up arenas across the country.
But never has a team sold an opponent more than the New Jersey Nets will this upcoming season.
Fans who buy two 10-game match-up plans will get five reversible jerseys that feature a Nets player on one side and an opposing star on the other. Opponents featured include LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Garnett.
“The reality of the situation is that many of our fans like the opposing players and teams and that’s great,” said Nets chief executive Brett Yormark. “When you come to our games, the concessionaire is selling the opposing team’s jerseys, so why not give them away?”
Yormark said he went to the league office to get approval for the idea and faced no backlash.
Challenged by its roster that no longer features recognizable stars like Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter, Yormark says tickets will also feature pictures of players from the opposing teams.
“We’re a young team and we play in a league of stars,” Yormark said. “We’re not ashamed to say that or market that.”
Tickets for the plan range from $350 to $4,850 each, so fans who want the jerseys have to spend a minimum of $700.
The Nets finished 25th in the league in attendance last year, averaging 16,367 fans per game.
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