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In corporate boardroom battle, Nets vs. Knicks is "battle of equals," say experts

Bruce Bennett

No matter what happens Tuesday night, the Nets have surprised in one area of their competition -- in the counting rooms of the corporate headquarters. After 35 years in the New York version of Siberia, the Nets have quietly and quickly become big players in the New York sports market, reports Business Week.

"The storyline is no longer the big Knicks versus the little Nets, or even the new Nets," says Robert Boland of NYU's Sports Management program. "It’s two giant conglomerates selling sponsorships in their arenas. It’s more a battle of equals."

Here's one way the Nets are competing with the Knicks, writes Eben Novy-Williams...

Ticket sales are up 505 percent from last season, 411 percentage points more than the next closest team’s growth, according to aggregator Nets tickets have an average listing price of $193.72 on the secondary market, third in the league behind the Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers, the website said.

One reason for the success is that the Nets deliberately chose to go after the "urban and hip," rather than the "corporate" association the Knicks have fostered. And it's working, says Scott Becher, a sports marketing expert. Or as Jay-Z tweeted the night of the Nets first win over their crosstown rivals, "the city is under new management."