Since last week, ESPN has been buzzing about a huge billboard looming above New York City, between 34th and 8th — featuring the two faces of the New Jersey Nets, and it’s any of the team’s players either.
Nope, the large billboard covering the side of an entire building is of Jay-Z and new Nets owner (and Russian billionaire) Mikhail Prokhorov.
The ad displays the phrase “the blueprint for greatness” while plugging the Nets’ new website NetsAllNew.com, and their Twitter and Facebook profiles.
The billboard isn’t just to lure potential free agents or to promote the team, it’s also a cross promotion with check-in tech company, Gowalla — a company that boasts some of the same functionality as NY-based Foursquare.
According to TechCrunch.com, the billboad is also a Nets’ Blueprint for Greatness venue on Gowalla (created at the spot of the billboard) where users can check-in to in order to receive a special collectible item. However, because Gowalla requires you to position yourself with GPS when you check-in, you have to actually go to the spot of the billboard to get the item.
At press time, we aren’t sure what the item is just yet.
So far, the New Jersey Nets haven’t made any big acquisitions in the NBA off-season just yet, player-wise. But, on the coaching front, they’ve hired Avery Johnson, who previously coached the Dallas Mavericks.
In 2005-06, Johnson led the Mavericks to their first ever appearance in the NBA Finals en route to earning NBA Coach of the Year honors. But, after 3 1/2 years with the club and back-to-back first-round playoff exits, he left.
“I am really excited to be the head coach of the New Jersey Nets, it’s an honor,” said Johnson. “I want to thank Mikhail Prokhorov and Rod Thorn for their confidence in appointing me as head coach. The future of the team is bright and I am excited to be a part of that future. We want to play tough, hard-nosed defense and we are going to move the ball on offense. It’s all going to begin with training camp where we will start building a foundation for the future.”