Nets market their 'Core Four'

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets are introducing their fans to the "Core Four."

The Nets unveiled a "Hello Brooklyn" marketing campaign featuring Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace on Monday in their new borough.

The campaign features advertisements of the stars, along with a personalized message that "enables fans to learn more about their hometown team," according to a press release.

"We are delighted to continue building a connection between Brooklynites and the players on their new home team," Nets CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement. "This phase of the 'Hello Brooklyn' campaign is a creative way for the players to share something about themselves in advance of their debut at Barclays Center this fall.

"It's clear from the big crowd at our recent public celebration at Borough Hall Plaza, as well as our successful ticket and merchandise sales, that the borough is excited for their Brooklyn Nets. We're thrilled to be part of the community as we get ready for opening night."

Examples of the ads include:

• "Hello Brooklyn. I'm #8, Deron Williams, three-time NBA All-Star and father of four."

• "Hello Brooklyn, I'm #7, Joe Johnson, six-time NBA All-Star and lifelong Razorback."

• "Hello Brooklyn, I'm #11, Brook Lopez, 20-point scorer and Batman's biggest fan."

• "Hello Brooklyn, I'm #45, Gerald Wallace, All-NBA Defender and offseason fisherman."

Billboards will also be put up at the following locations (among others): on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway; by the Manhattan Bridge; Atlantic Avenue and Eastern Parkway; Kings Highway and Utica Avenue; 86th Street and 4th Avenue; and Surf Avenue.

The campaign will also include digital and social media components and "subway station domination signage" -- which begins in August.

The "Hello Brooklyn" marketing campaign is the second phase of a three-part campaign before the team begins playing in the $1 billion Barclays Center. The campaign began when the Nets unveiled their new brand identity -- including their new logo and color scheme -- on April 30.

"This one now is the launch, just, as I like to say, 'Putting the face to the name,'" Nets chief marketing officer Fred Mangione said. "Now that we know what our team looks like, and we made all the signings, basketball operations did what they needed to do to put a great team on the court, and we're now putting names to the faces where the borough will have a chance to get excited about this new team in their area."

The Nets will now be battling the New York Knicks for the allegiances of fans in the metropolitan area.

"Our goal is to own Brooklyn," Mangione said. "We want to turn the Brooklyn Nets into a global brand, so it's not just in the tri-state area, but it's globally and internationally. But we try not to get caught up in (Nets vs. Knicks). We leave that to the fans and the writers to get into that.

"We have a long ways to go. We have to win some ballgames and we have to get the people in the market excited about us, and we think this is the first step towards it."

Since Williams tweeted that he was staying with the Nets on July 3, the team has sold more than 2,500 full season tickets, according to a team spokesman.

In the offseason, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has invested over $300 million dollars into the roster -- approximately $287 million of which will go to Williams (five years, $98 million), Johnson (four years, $89 million), Lopez (four years, $60 million) and Wallace (four years, $40 million), assuming they stay throughout the duration of their contracts.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.