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Secrets of re-branding the Nets

Brooklyn Nets/Errol Anderson

Sports Business Journal writes this week about how the Charlotte Bobcats are looking to the Nets experience as they re-brand their franchise ... back to the Charlotte Hornets. The Nets success now represent the league's "best practices," said a Charlotte executive. And why not? The two-year Brooklyn re-branding resulted in a whopping increase in merchandise sales.

Of more interest to Nets fans, however, is what Nets executive vice-president Fred Mangione tells SBJ about the process that took the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, including previous iterations of the new logo, one of which has never been reported before ... and why it was dumped. Also, Mangione talks about the role Derrick Rose played ... and the anxiety the Nets had as they neared the unveiling of the finished product last September 28.

The Nets considered a red-white-and-blue mark tied to their old ABA days with Julius Erving. They also looked at black and gold, colors symbolizing the borough of Brooklyn, but the scheme looked too much like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mangione said. They settled on black as a primary color after finding out a nontraditional black jersey for Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose outsold a regular home jersey for Miami Heat star LeBron James, he said.

Mangione notes that the Nets did send the black-and-white scheme to one outside group before unveiling.

"The first thing we had to do was go to EA Sports with our brand for their video games. They had our stuff before anybody. We were praying it wouldn’t get out as we shipped it across the country. The league was shocked it wasn’t leaked."

There was some last minute anxiety when in the days before Jay-Z officially unveiled the uniforms, an Adidas employee posted a picture of a pile of Nets uniforms online.

"Our goal was to come up with a logo that was simple and classic that would stand the test of time," Mangione told SBJ's Don Muret. "Some people thought it was too simple, but we’re fourth in the league in merchandise sales. We wanted to come up with something cool that all ages would want to wear."