Tonight is the home opener for the Brooklyn Nets, a team which is often said to play basketball. (Seriously, the Nets are boring.) To celebrate what promises to be another joyless march toward the bottom of the playoff bracket, the Nets today announced that they have become the first professional sports organization to purchase space on MetroCards.
Given the rate at which sports franchises slap their logos on billboards, apparel, subway posters, tote bags, and “unisex comfy throws,” it is surprising that not a single one thought to brand a MetroCard. Millions of New Yorkers buy them, and now that they’re not free, keep them (for a while).
But the Nets are out here breaking down barriers, large and small, and seizing every opportunity for synergy. “Our customers already take the train to the Nets’ home games,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, MTA’s senior director of corporate and internal communications, in a press release. “Extending that relationship through the use of a branded MetroCard is a slam dunk for the team, for MTA NYC Transit and for the fans who get an extra souvenir.”
Brett Yormark, Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center CEO, added: “We believe that connecting our brand with the MTA through MetroCards was a perfect way to reinforce our message of the convenience of getting to Barclays Center by mass transit.”
MetroCard machines at nine stations will begin randomly distributing the branded Nets cards this week. Only two of these stations are actually in Brooklyn: Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Court St.-Borough Hall. The cards will also be at the E/J/Z Jamaica Center station. The rest are in Manhattan: 42nd St.-Times Square, both Wall St. stations, W. 4th St., and, hilariously, Penn Station, which sits beneath Madison Square Garden. That means several thousand Knicks fans this season will leave MSG following another Knicks loss, head downstairs to the subway, and inadvertently purchase a Nets-branded MetroCard. At least the Knicks are terrible, too.
Follow Phillip Pantuso on Twitter @phillippantuso.