Rapper, producer and entrepreneur Jay-Z has his blueprint laid out for the New Jersey Nets and the city of Brooklyn.
In a press conference held on Monday at the construction site of the Barclays Center, the Nets' new home for the 2012-2013 season, he officially announced that the Nets will become the Brooklyn Nets once the team makes the move to downtown Brooklyn. And, to add to the culture of change, the hip-hop mogul plans to perform at eight concerts celebrating the opening of the new arena, according to the New York Daily News.
From the moment the Barclays Center became a reality, I knew this meant something significant for Brooklyn, Jay-Z said. This is where I'm from, I'll always be Brooklyn, and opening this arena will mean more to me than anywhere else. I also look forward to opening night for the Brooklyn Nets. We're going to create an atmosphere like only Brooklyn can.
The team also considered names such as the Brooklyn Bridges, the Brooklyn Tudes-as in Attitudes-and even the Brooklyn Dodgers, in honor of the storied baseball team. But, in devotion to a disheartened, yet loyal fan base, the team kept the original name.
With a new home to play in and new city to play for, the Nets are looking to rebound after four consecutive losing seasons, including their abysmal 12-win season just two seasons ago. Despite the recent woes, however, there are bright spots: superstar point guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez lend some stability to a roster that has seen a wave of different faces in recent years.
Nevertheless, with the New York Knicks, who play in arguably the most popular city at the most popular arena-Madison Square Garden in Manhattan-on the rise, thanks to the likenesses of forwards Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, stepping out from under their shadow will require both winning and marketability.
Jay-Z, who owns a 1.7 percent stake in the Nets, will be the face of a huge marketing campaign, which includes distributing coffee cups to local stores and placing billboard ads throughout New York, along with telephone booth ads and ad placements on top of taxis.