Brett Yormark spoke to Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle Thursday about the Barclays Center, the Nets, and the future of both, saying that the big reason for the arena and team's success has been ... Brooklyn itself.
"I would love to take credit. I can't. I think it is Brooklyn," said the Nets and Barclays CEO when asked why it's all working so well. "People love this hip, cool factor in Brooklyn. Up-and-coming artists want to play there. They want to create their own legacy. It is an incredible dynamic.
"There's just this magnet we've been able to create in Brooklyn."
Talking about the Nets' success as a business since the move from New Jersey, Yormark noted, "When we left New Jersey, we were last in the NBA in revenue. We were in the top five last year. We were 31st in merchandise sales our last year in New Jersey. With Adidas, the key licensee of the NBA, we were No. 3 this past season. What we did was we transformed our brand into something that truly embraced Brooklyn."
Yormark also offered optimism about the coming Nets season.
"I'm excited about the team. You know we went into a bit of a different direction. We got a little younger, a little faster. I think Billy King and ownership have put together a great product. Our camp opens up in three weeks, a little earlier than most teams, because we're going to China this year! We aspire to be global. So, we're playing two exhibition games in China, Shanghai and Beijing. We're excited about it."
Yormark also spoke about how the Islanders, arriving in 2016, are a great addition for the arena, how if the concert business, known to be cyclical, turns down, "Having the insurance policy of knowing that every day you wake up you have 90 dates filled is a great thing," he said, referring to the combined dates of the Nets and Islanders.
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