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Business on the Move NBA Marketing

New York Knicks appoint creative agency in bid to boost brand among fans


By Katie Deighton, Senior Reporter

January 24, 2020 | 3 min read

The New York Knicks have hired Brooklyn-based agency Translation to bolster the team’s brand positioning and connection to its fanbase, which is in the midst of witnessing its team's losing streak.

Knicks Translation

New York Knicks hire former Nets agency Translation

Translation, which is owned by the veteran music exec Steve Stoute, plans to develop campaigns and brand programs for the team, inspired by its history, alumni, fanbase and home of Madison Square Garden.

Meanwhile, Stoute himself has signed as a special adviser to the Knicks’ executive team.

“We are going to bring new, creative ideas and produce content that encapsulates Madison Square Garden and the Knicks, building upon their vast reputations in order to further connect with fans,” he said.

Translation lands into the franchise with experience gleaned from brands such as the NFL, NBA and Nike. The shop previously carried out similar work for rival team the Brooklyn Nets, who hired Translation as agency of record in ahead of the 2017-18 season.

The work was accredited for helping make the Nets ‘cool’ again.

“Our goal is to not only build a Knicks team that is successful on the court for the long-term – we also want to continue forging a deeper connection between our incredibly loyal fans and our team,” said Andy Lustgarten, president of the Madison Square Garden Company.

“We look forward to working with Translation to create powerful marketing and advertising platforms that excite the Knicks community and bring us together.”

The Knicks franchise is known for resonating with consumers.

According to the NBA, it is the most valuable team in the country with a net worth of $4bn, while attendance at Madison Square Garden still averages 18,880 fans a game, per figures from ESPN.

However, a recent string of losses has seen the team come under fire from sports pundits and fans. The Knicks haven’t had made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season.

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