Players, not a brand agency, will make the New York Knicks cool again

Sep 25, 2017; Greenburgh, NY, USA; New York Knicks president Steve Mills speaks to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are rebuilding is all areas of their organization.  They’re rebuilding their team, coaching staff and now their marketing strategy.

According to the Daily New’s Stefan Bondy, the Knicks have hired Translation.  They’re a brand agency looking to give the team a “media makeover.”  Translation will be looking to make the Knicks brand more fun, exciting and entertaining.

The one thing that really stood out from Translations CEO Steve Stoute was, “Winning cures a lot of problems.  Great marketing and exciting entertainment cure all problems.”  He went onto say that the Knicks and Madison Square Garden are already “iconic” brands.  Stoute also has a good relationship with Knick President Steve Mills, explaining the hire.

If the Knicks and MSG are already “iconic” brands then why is a branding agency necessary here?  Fans are going to still love and support the New York Knicks regardless of their record.  So, trying to re-brand their brand seems unnecessary.

Instead of worrying about the branding and marketing side, the organization needs to focus on players.  Why great marketing and entertainment might help the problem, it’s not going to solve it.  A great marketing campaign is not going to help Knicks players on the court.  That’s on the coaches and players.

Stoute was correct on one part, “Winning cures a lot of problems.”  The Knicks haven’t been doing a lot of winning but constantly sell out the Garden.  That means the brand is strong, no matter what people or Kevin Durant may say.  Durant was on record saying the Knicks were “uncool.”

The Knicks need to turn their concentration on player development instead of branding.  The team could go win-less and the fans will still be there.  The brand will still be strong because they’re in the biggest market with the biggest fans.  The brand is fine, it’s the constructing a competitive team that needs to be the main focus.