NBA’s Nets Launch Agency Search

NEW YORK Nets Sports & Entertainment is seeking an ad agency to “re-image” the NBA’s New Jersey Nets franchise, according to Brett Yormark, who took over as client president and CEO this week after a tenure as president of corporate marketing for Nascar.

Yormark, 38, said the Nets would likely send out proposal requests within the next two weeks. The review is expected to conclude in March.

The Nets are currently working with several regional shops on a project basis, but this review would establish a retainer relationship with one primary agency. The Nets’ ad budget has not yet been determined, but according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, the team spent about $1 million on measured media in 2003 and nothing in 2004.

“We want to partner with a world-class agency to develop research, dig deep into our fan base and then develop a strategic marketing plan,” Yormark said. “When you think of the Nets, we want you to think of a hardworking team where customer service and a fan-centric approach is the way we do business. Where you get a great value for your dollar.”

The appropriate campaign could include a first-time TV effort for the team, and must appeal to both hard-core and casual fans, Yormark said.

Yormark, who worked for the Nets in senior marketing posts from 1994-98, will serve as a decision maker in the review, but director of marketing Matt Pazaras will spearhead the search for the East Rutherford, N.J.-based franchise.