The New York Kickerbockers, popularly known as New York Knicks is a profession American basketball team that operates from Manhattan, New York City. The team, which was founded in 1949, has grown to become among the most profitable franchises in the sports industry. The team is one of the only two National Basketball Association New York Teams with its headquarters at the Madison Square Garden. The New York Knickers is also one of the only two NBA teams that has its headquarters in the city where it was founded.
The team was founded by Ned Irish, who was the president of the Madison Square Garden at the time. The team was among the first teams in the Basketball Association of America which together with the National Basketball League formed the NBA. Since Irish desired a uniquetitle for the team’s franchise, he decided to go with the “knickerbocker” due to its cultural heritage. The name “knickerbocker” belonged to the early Dutch settlers of New York. The New York Knicks won records throughout their first nine seasons and have since won two NBA championships. However, the team recorded mediocre performance towards the end of the 1950s due to weak teams. The team started picking up again in the early 1960s. Currently, the team is owned by the Madison Square Garden Company.
During the season between 2019 and 2020, the team had an estimated revenue of $421 million, the highest revenue in the NBA. The team is the most profitable franchise in the NBA with a value of $4.6 billion as of 2020. (Gough). This figure is significantly huge in comparison to the average value of the league-wide franchise which is $ 2.12 billion. During regular season home games, the New York Knicks receives an average attendance of sixteen thousand fans. Knicks are among the most popular NBA game with lots of social media followers.
The New York Knicks have been valued as the most valuable franchise in the NBA. (Dixon). According to a report by Sportco’ s 2021 Franchise Valuations Report, the team which is valued at $5.42 billion, acquired $ 1 billion through real estate dealings and team-related economic ventures. The Madison Square Garden accounts for 23% of the value of the New York Knicks.
The New York Knicks host their home games at the Madison Square Garden which is arguably one of the most lucrative arenas in the world. The arena which has a capacity of nineteen thousand fans, gives fans a sense of luxurious experience. New York Knicks games usually have luxury suites which can host between eight to thirty-four guests.
Julius Randle is one of the star players of the New York Knicks. Randle became a first-time NBA All-Star during his second season with the Knicks. After leading the Knicks to a win against the Dallas Mavericks, Randle won NBA’s Most Improved Player Award and joined the New York Knicks in 2019 after signing a three-year $63 million contract.
RJ Barrett is another top star of the New York Knicks playing as a shooting guard and small forward. Barret joined the Knicks in 2019 debuting the NBA in that same year. Barret, who is originally from Canada reported his highest career performance during the 2021-2022 season. Barrett exceeded standard expectation for a Number 3 overall pick rookie. Barrett’s RAPTOR projection has gone up towards his third NBA season.
Place – Channels of Distribution
The Madison Square Garden Network is responsible for broadcasting games by the New York Knicks. Their games can be watched on only two live TV streaming services within New York. Fans living outside New York can also subscribe to the NBA League Pass to catch the game. The two main live TV broadcasting services that accommodate the Madison Square Garden network are AT & T TV Now and FuboTV. (Elliot). On radio, ESPN has had the rights to broadcast New York Knicks games since 2004. Pre-game, live games and post-games played by the New York Knicks are broadcasted through the ESPN New York 98.7FM station. Audio broadcasts can also be streamed live on the ESPN app or the ESPNNewYork.com website. Merchandise from the New York Knicks such as jerseys, hats, and hoodies is sold at the Madison Square Garden Store in Chase Square.
Promotion – Marketing Communications
The New York Knicks promotes their games by giving away promotional tickets and jerseys. During the themes nights hosted by the team throughout the season, fans are able to access giveaways such as cheaper seats. This year, the team in collaboration with the Garden of Dreams Foundation held a promotional sweepstakes with seventeen winners taking home various prizes including season tickets, autographed New York Knicks jersey and autographed basketballs. (The Garden of Dreams Foundation). The New York Knicks advertise these promotional opportunities through the Madison Square Garden Network.
The New York Knicks is involved in a couple of charity initiatives. The team hosts an annual 9/11 charity memorial event. In 2019, the Knicks hosted their Knicks 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Charity at the Madison Square Garden for 9/11 firefighters who passed on. The team collaborated with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation who organized the event. (Harmata). The charity event raised $50000 that was directly donated to families of the 9/11 fallen firefighters, FDNY Counseling Services Unit and the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows and Children’s Fund.
The New York Knicks teams up with the Junior Knicks and Fidelis Care to organize charity basketball games that would support the organization of local youth basketball around Tri-State. This program is meant to attract funds from charitable organizations as well as increase visibility and gather the community to watch a friendly community basketball game. (Girsch Sports). Attending these basketball games allows people and organizations to support beneficial local causes through the New York Knicks charity.
The New York Knicks public relations program develops and executes the communications plans for the team’s announcements, preparing the team’s players and staff for media appearances, and drive proactive publicity initiatives while working with the team’s management. (Madison Square Garden Sports). James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks, is obsessive regarding even insignificant public relations details. One example of a situation that was terribly handled by their public relations program was the firing of head coach David Fizdale. Despite Fizdale’ s significant contribution to the Knicks throughout his two years with the team. The team’s PR issued the simplest statement regarding the lay off with no gratitude or acknowledgement from the team’s management. This move infuriated fans, players and the media.
The Knick’s PR program suffered another loss of credibility when it unnecessarily revealed underlying incompetency within the team. Following their failure to sign Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency, the PR team leaked a statement claiming that the team was uninterested in signing an injured Durant. (Wimbish). This statement proved incompetency as it showed that the team had terribly planning by their reluctance to sign Durant or they failed in executing a wise plan which was singing up Durant.
The New York Knicks uses its social impact and fan engagement initiative to organize local youth basketball, create platforms for fan engagement and community activation. This initiative enabled the team to participate in philanthropic causes meant to address challenges within the local community. One example of a community initiative that the New York Knicks undertakes is the funding of the team’s youth basketball program, the Junior Knicks. The team works with various organizations to elevate this basketball program that is meant to provide talented youth, especially the disadvantaged ones, with access to opportunities on the basketball court. With sponsorship from Fidelis Care, the team established a community initiative program called the Junior Knicks Assist Program. The team partners with non-profit organizations to organize charity auctions meant to raise funds for the Assist program.
The ticket prices for the New York Knickers are among the highest in the retail market with median prices reaching $200. The New York Knicks has its season ticket pricing into two package plans depending on seat location. These are the courtside club and the sideline club. The prices of the courtside club also vary depending on how near the seats are to the basketball court. Courtside tickets for a Knicks game usually costs between $110 and $7000. (Redenius). Sideline club tickets can cost anything between $50 and $120.The season tickets for both the courtside club and the sideline club inflate during playoffs.
Seats in the Courtside Club enables fans to experience every action on the court. The New York Knicks has another ticket membership package plan for fans. This package plan includes a 20% discount on food and beverages bought at the Madison Square Garden with the use of a Digital Membership ID card. (Santos). This package plans also allows fans to get discounts on purchases at the Madison Square Garden Team store. Holders of this membership package are also often invited to VIP events alongside the players and management.
A SWOT analysis is used to determine internal and external factors that can hinder or progress success towards the marketing goal. SWOT represents Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis enables the marketing team to comprehend what differentiates them from their competition and the resources at their hands that can be used to turn that into a competitive advantage.
Strengths represent one of the internal organizational factors in a SWOT analysis. The strengths are the things which are within the marketing team’s control such as location, patent rights, and players on the team. The location of the New York Knicks headquarters in New York gives the team one of the biggest advantage. New York City already has many popular sport franchise including the Yankees and the Giants. The Madison Square Garden, where the team plays its home games, is another lucrative advantage that the Knicks has. With a recent $1 billion renovation, suite prices at the Madison Square Garden can go up to over $1 million per year. SportsNet New York
These location advantages give marketing the games and broadcasts for the New York Knicks a competitive advantage. The Knicks also have a pricing advantage for their tickets due to the lucrative nature of their basketball court inside the MSG. This is one of the reasons why the New York Knicks has some of the highest ticket prices in the NBA.
Weaknesses represents the other internal organization factor in a SWOT analysis. One of the biggest weaknesses of the New York Knicks is the lack of big names in the team. This lack of elite talent on the team is one of the reasons why the Knicks have been unsuccessful for the last two decades. (Ryder). Lacking big names in the team is a weakness for the team as it leaves them at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to reaching the fan base of star players.
Opportunities represent the external factors that can drive the organization’s success. One of the biggest opportunities that the New York Knicks have is the development of local talent. The team has been supporting a local youth basketball team, the Junior Knicks, through charity and talent nurturing. This does not only help the Knicks market themselves as a charitable team but also market their team directly to the locals.
Threats represent the other external factor in a SWOT analysis. These are factors that are beyond the control of the marketing team and therefore the only way to deal with them is designing a contingency plan. (Parsons). One of the greatest threats that the New York Knicks faces is better players exiting the team. Star players may become frustrated and tired of the losing streak that the Knicks have been on for the last few years. Losing star players presents a challenge to the marketing team as they might lose access to certain fan bases and the overall appeal of the team.
The New York Knicks is a New York based NBA team. The team, which ranks as the most valuable franchise in the NBA, was among the first teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team benefits from the lucrative nature of its home city New York and its headquarters at the Madison Square Garden. The team is owned by the Madison Square Garden Company which is also responsible for live TV broadcasts of their games through the Madison Square Garden Network. Despite their success in establishing a valuable franchise, the New York Knicks still faces various challenges such as lack of elite talent and public relations failures.