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Nets Building Brand in Brooklyn

New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets

For years, the Nets' plans for an arena at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues divided the borough. Critics sued (and vilified) Bruce Ratner in a failed attempt to halt Barclays Center and the larger Atlantic Yards project while proponents, including union members, tried to drown them out at rallies and in local papers.

Now with the arena 17 months from opening (and less than eight months from being completely enclosed), the Nets are focusing on local media to get Brooklynites to think of the Nets as their home team.  Kris Humphries' recent trip to the construction site was one element of the effort, the Deron Williams "Welcome to Brooklyn" billboards are another. Smaller ads will begin sprouting on local streets this week.

As Humphries told critics while at the site, "Just come to the game and you’ll be a part of the excitement. You don’t want to be walking down the street and see everyone coming from the game — you want to come to the game and hopefully be a part of a great victory and a lot of excitement."