The New York Knicks are on the path back to relevance in the National Basketball Association. And to nurture renewed fan interest, the team is making a big bet in digital and social media with the launch of KnicksNow.com.
The new site is designed to be more than a typical forum for fans to scream about the coach or chat about potential trades via message boards, said Howard Jacobs, evp, marketing and sales, MSG Sports. Instead, the goal is to build a daily destination where visitors can not only connect to the team in a more intimate way, but also find a more structured fan community.
For example, KnicksNow.com has a full-time reporter assigned to cover the team and serve as a conduit to fans by posting exclusive stories and interviews.
Additionally, KnicksNow.com users can broadcast their Knicks affinity to friends by “checking in,” while watching or attending Knicks games, via Facebook Places. The site also aggregates the players’ various Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. And fans can occasionally direct some of the site’s editorial focus by using tools to pose questions to the site’s community—hopefully sparking debate.
While team-sponsored and independent fan sites and blogs abound on the Web, Jacobs claims that there are no “other team[s] in the league that [have] done this.” He also added that there are plans for a mobile version of KnicksNow.