As cool as New York City is – Brooklyn is cooler. New York still has the international cachet, the hotels, skyline and a commercial buzz, but Brooklyn is where gravity is pulling the next generation. Young families, grads, the skinny black jean set are spending their time and Benjamins in Crooklyn. It’s where a good deal of our urban culture (euphemism for black) is born. Biggie! Brooklyn still needs renewal, still has much poverty and crime but it is home to many generations of Americans. (Both my parents were born in Brooklyn.) As a brand planner I always loved to study the borough of Queens, thinking of it as America’s perfect living breathing melting pot, but now I’m stuck one borough south.
Brooklyn is a brand.
The New Jersey Nets are moving to Brooklyn and Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov is their new owner and the face of the franchise. There is a big Russian community in this borough so the purchase is in exciting harmony. Basketball is the haps in Brooklyn: Boys and Girls, Lincoln, Dwayne Pearl (Washington), Chris Mullen…. The Nets will be Brooklyn’s first major franchise since the Dodgers left and will not only unite the borough but elevate its stature around the global. Mr. Prokhorov probably knows this, but he has invested in one of the world’s great up-and-coming brands. Do you think Spike Lee will buy a seat courtside in Brooklyn? Hell no! He’s a Knick fan. But his kids will! And that’s the future. Good luck Mr. Prokhorov. Enjoy the ride. Peace!