In an effort to show that Green Bandwagon is back in business I'm analyzing the slogans of various NBA teams. Unfortunately some organizations did not feel inclined to have one. Poor decision. Although it seems like they are still rolling out even as I write this. Never mind the fact that they should be ready for training camp. In each case I've been to the team's homepage, checked out the ticket section and done a Google search. If I could not find a slogan I secretly cursed the team. We'll survive. Enjoy.
Boston Celtics - The Celtics made the obvious decision to revolve their marketing efforts around Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. That's how to make money. And the Celtics need to make money given their complete disregard for the luxury tax. However, there is a part of me that would really appreciate a good Glen Davis, Scot Pollard and Brian Scalabrine ad campaign. Of course I'm going to follow regardless. The casual fans would be a little less than impressed.
New Jersey Nets - As far as I can tell the Nets are going sans ad campaign right now. That may be due in part to the state of New Jersey's struggles with slogans. You may recall that the citizens of Jersey, in between bragging about their experiences at places used in The Sopranos, spent a ridiculous amount of money on "New Jersey: Come see for yourself." They then completely scrapped it, opened it up to the public suggestions and eventually voted on "New Jersey: We'll win you over." As far as I'm concerned there is still time to run with my Sean Williams/Marcus Williams "Smoking and Stealing" idea. I won't even demand royalties.
New York Knicks - It looks like the Knicks may have been so busy with other issues that they didn't come up with a clear marketing plan. I guess sexual harassment lawsuits can do that to you, unless "Experience Knicks Basketball" is for real. And I sincerely hope that it is not. Ultimately I'm upset with the Knicks organization for two reasons:
1. Prior to the 1992-1993 season the Knicks' marketing department was kicking around campaigns for the upcoming season. They approached Pat Riley. "The first artwork they had me look at was looking down on a basketball court. There was a hoop, and inside the foul circle was a chalk outline of a dead person. I said I didn't know if I wanted to go that far." - Pat Riley in The Jordan Rules.
Now that is an aggressive marketing campaign. Granted they did not pursue it. But they were coming up with more original stuff than "Experience Knicks Basketball".
2. Let's not forget that the Knicks have a phenomenal slogan just waiting be utilized. YES SIR!
Philadelphia 76ers - There is nothing wrong with focusing your marketing efforts around a hot shot rookie. I'm pretty sure that's what the Cavs did with LeBron. Come to think about it Seattle should do that with Kevin Durant. (More on that later.) But I'm not sure Jason Smith and Thaddeus Young deserve that treatment. In fact I find Philly's "Think Young. Think Tall" campaign perplexing for two reasons:
- Andre Miller. The guy was traded from a playoff team to a lousy squad. And now he has to watch some unproven guys grab the spotlight. Seems shortsighted. However, that pales in comparison to my next reason.
- Andre Iguodala - Look how many guys Philadelphia pays more than Iguodala. Eight by my count, although two are no longer on the team. And unlike with Miler one has to assume that Philly intends to keep Iguodala for a while. So why not make the former Arizona stand out the face of the franchise. It is not as if his game is bland.
Even though the Raptors play in the same division as the Celtics I have no ill will for the team up north. Granted I frequently mock Chuck Swirsky. But I like the whole model U.N. concept. So it is disappointing to see the Raptors either go without a slogan or settle with "Canada's Team." I thought they were more cutting edge than that. And for the record no matter how hard the Raptors organization tries it will never be the first team people think of when they hear the term "Canada's Team."