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With Kyrie and KD, Nets ‘metrics’ are up across the board

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You know that Knicks trope ... the one about no one cares about the Nets in Knicks City, that the attendance shows it. Last in the league last year. Nets gear won’t top Knicks gear.

Problem (for them) is that was last year and this is this year. The arrival of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant —along with the hype and anticipation— is driving up the Nets revenue, ticket sales, sponsorships, etc. Truth be told, the jump began at the end of last season, with the playoff run. The Nets had seven straight sellouts in the regular season, then two in the playoffs. After the All-Star Break, in fact, the Nets drew 2,000 more fans to games than they had before the break.

Now, though, writes Terry Lefton in Sports Business Journal, there’s even more visible growth for Brooklyn basketball. Some factoids from his article and elsewhere on the Internet...

—All the team’s leading economic indicators are skyrocketing. Nets licensed apparel sales are up 375 percent since July 1 across the Fanatics network of sites, which includes the bellwether http://NBAStore.com. Before he left, Mikhail Prokhorov noted “With our recent signings, our expectation is that we will surpass our highest revenue marks in franchise history this year.”

—The Nets are also up 72 percent in ticket revenue versus a year ago, and the team’s Instagram following has swelled from 850,000 to 1.6 million in a year. Sellouts, said one Nets insider, are going to be the rule, not the exception this season.

—Heightened interest in the Brooklyn team, “forever trying to step out of the New York Knicks’ shadow,” noted SBJ, was enough to support doubling advertising rates on YES Network. Even at that, they may have underestimated the Durant/Irving multiple. Sales to date have already increased by 50 percent.

—Verizon, returning after a two-year rollback, will sponsor the Nets postgame show on YES. Other big advertisers include Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital, the New York State Lottery, Geico and Progressive.

—FanDuel will have a large presence in the Nets pregame show and in-game. As many as three other gaming competitors are also expected to join the telecasts. It may not be automotive, the creme de la creme in the ad market, but sports books, etc. are a big factor in advertising success ... and a year ago, those companies couldn’t run ads on TV.

“A year ago, no one was even talking about the Nets being a playoff team, which eventually they became,” Howard Levinson, senior vice president for ad sales at YES, told Lefton. “They are not sneaking up on anyone and we have people calling us, based at least partially on where they could be whenever Durant starts playing again.”

The ultimate goal is to double sales from last year, Levinson said.

Ticket IQ which tracks pricing on secondary ticket markets reports as well that the Nets are jumping there as well.

So, may we suggest to our Knick brethren, Find a new trope.