New York Knicks can win the war for the “Big Apple”

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
John Starks, New York Knicks. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Nickelodeon) /

2. Get out in the community

This one should be a no-brainer, and it’s so simple. Have current and recent New York Knicks players make more public appearances. None of them have to enter a hot dog eating contest, just be visible among the people.

Something that will pop up several times in this piece is the term goodwill. Meeting the fans, especially kids in the area, builds the grassroots appeal of the team. I’m not saying the team isn’t out there, but whatever they do now should be a starting point.

Visit schools, playgrounds, and kids rec leagues. People talk and they will talk about how, for example, Mitchell Robinson spoke to their kid at a PAL event. Or when Frank Ntilikina shot hoops with the boys and girls at an after school program.

Not only does outreach like this get fans for now, but also serves to build a fanbase for years to come. It the first step toward putting rear ends in seats 10 or 20 years from now. Front and center has to be this year’s first-round pick, R.J. Barrett.

The kid is a natural in front of the camera and seems genuinely happy to be a part of the New York Knicks family. He is probably the best spokesperson the team has right now. Let the rookie take his off the court enthusiasm out to the people of the area.

3. Put games on free tv

Granted this one isn’t as easy, but its public relations gold and goes back to winning hearts and minds. James Dolan may be the most hated sports figure in the area. New York Knicks fans hate him with a passion. For once, let the man show he did something for the people by putting six to ten games on free, over the air television.

If Disney can do ESPN on ABC, Dolan can pull off MSG Network on channel 11. Put some games on local TV where fans who don’t have MSG or TNT can watch the team play. Make it so the people watch their team without forking out an arm and a leg. Goodwill yes, but it’s also the impetus to selling a ton more jerseys, hats, and assorted team merchandise.

Additionally, by having Dolan announce that eight games this year are going to air on free local television will, for lack of a better word, humanize the man fans hate. Dolan is a multi-billionaire, he can afford to do this. In the end, it’s a money-making idea.