Two big-market sports franchises are teaming up to grow their fan bases overseas.
The Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association are hosting Juventus Night today (7 December) in partnership with Italian soccer club Juventus. The cross-sport event at Barclays Center started with a watch party of the Inter Milan and Juventus match and will flow into the night's Nets game against the visiting Toronto Raptors.
Michael Zavodsky, chief revenue officer for the Nets and BSE Global, said the partnership was a natural fit.
"We reached out to [Juventus] over the summer as we thought about ways to expand and grow our fan base in other markets. They were looking to grow and expand their fan base, so we felt there was great alignment between the two franchises culturally and organizationally. It sort of helps that the colors are both the same also," Zavodsky told The Drum.
Though the alignment is there, new markets present new challenges. Juventus international brand manager Daniele Lunazzi told The Drum it was important for the organization to maintain a consistent, coherent message while activating new partnerships in new markets.
"You must be able to adapt to new market habits, to the desire and expectations of new markets, while at the same time not betraying your brand model, your values, and the way you communicate," said Lunazzi.
Former Juventus star David Trezeguet and former Nets star Kerry Kittles were both present for the watch party. During the game, the Nets dance team will be clad in Juventus gear, and the Italian club's mascot Jay also will be present.
Juventus partnered with agency Rebel Ventures for the event.
"[The partnership] provides connectivity and visibility for our brand to their fan base, and vice versa," said Zavodsky. "What we're doing is taking two great franchises, creating synergy, and then galvanizing the fan bases.... It creates authenticity."
Nets and Juventus fans at home can get a view into today's activities, too. Yes Network will be highlighting elements of the partnership during the broadcast. Sky Sports Italy selected the Nets game as its feature broadcast because of the partnership.
Both Zavodsky and Lunazzi said the two clubs will discuss future partnerships based on the success of Juventus Night.