Thursday, April 25, 2013

Barclays Center wants Islanders to look more 'Brooklyn' when they leave Long Island

The New York Islanders may be changing more than their home ice when they move to Barclays Center in the unspecified future. The marketing braintrusts at the team's new arena are looking to change the Islanders' whole image — including the franchise's royal blue, orange and white team colors — to make them more Brooklyn, reports The New York Post.

Barclays Center, which will take over the business operations of the team when it moves from Nassau County as soon as 2014, is currently holding separate focus groups of Islanders fans and Brooklynites, sources added.
A member of one group told the Riverhead News-Review earlier this month he was asked to rate a new team jersey without any orange, one that looked like the old Brooklyn Dodgers uniform — blue and white.

"We’re not going to rename the team," Islanders owner Charles Wang said at a recent conference. "The colors are the same. The logo is the same."

However, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark is leaning in the same direction the Brooklyn Nets did when they moved from New Jersey. He will recommend that the team, which has the worst attendance in the National Hockey League, undergo a complete rebranding, the source said.

A sensibility which seemed to work for the Nets.

The Nets' team colors were changed to black and white. Attendance rose from a league-worst 13,961 to 17,187 per game, and jerseys, which hadn’t cracked the top 10 in popularity, finished No. 4 this past season.

Yormark, at the conference with Wang, without mentioning his study, said, "The colors black and white are the new badge of honor in Brooklyn. The question is, can we weave that into the [Islanders] color scheme, and create a connection to the fans here in Brooklyn?"

Yormark has to be careful about alienating the loyal Islanders fan base. The team just made the postseason for the first time since since 2007 and the bandwagon fans are jumping on board again. A novelty change might send them back to Hempstead.

Sometimes change isn't as easy as black and white.

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