Brooklyn Nets Gear Flies Off Shelves

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A man shops for Brooklyn Nets merchandise at a Modell's store in Downtown Brooklyn. (Cristabelle Tumola / The Brooklyn Ink)

After the Brooklyn Nets’ logo was officially revealed on April 30, the team’s merchandise went on sale. Everything from t-shirts and jerseys, to hats, basketballs and water bottles are now available on, and the websites and stores of two sports retailers—the NBA Store and Modell’s Sporting Goods.

Though it has only been a few days, basketball and Brooklyn enthusiasts are quickly buying up the team’s items.

Monday, the first day the items went on sale, was the second largest web traffic day at since the start of the basketball season on Dec. 25, according to a Brooklyn Nets release. The team’s merchandise accounted for 27 percent of total sales for the day on and at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue combined.

That same day, Modell’s sold more Brooklyn Nets merchandise in a single day than they’d sold New Jersey Nets items during the last year, said Jason Karorwski, Modell’s manager of sports marketing and PR. Brooklyn Net merchandise is available at about 100 Modell’s stores in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area, including the chain’s 10 Brooklyn locations.

The team’s merchandise features various designs—all in its black and white colors—some with the logo, some with just the words “Brooklyn.” Many of the items promote borough pride more than sports fanaticism.

At the Modell’s at 360 Fulton St. in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon, Mark Allison of Flatbush came for his first close-up look at the new logo. He had only seen the logo before briefly on television. He said that he prefers the more colorful logos of other teams, but said the black and white colors are a favorite look for Brooklynites. Though he did not purchase an item during his visit, he said he might come back to buy something.

Another customer, Brooklyn resident, Jason Andrews of Crown Heights, quickly filled his arms with items—four t-shirts and a hat. He was buying for himself, his brother and 7-year-old son. “I got to support my borough. I love Brooklyn,” he said.

The store’s apparel manager, Denise Neckles, said all of the merchandise was selling well, and she had to restock it often.

Neckles, along with all other Model employees have been wearing T-shirts that have the Net’s logo on them and say “Hello Brooklyn,” the slogan of the team’s campaign, since the store started selling the items on Monday, and will continue to wear them indefinitely, said Neckles.

Brooklyn Nets merchandise was also on display on one side of the store’s front windows. People are walking by, noticing the display and stopping in to check it out the items, said Neckles. They love the design, she added.

Matthew Hadaway, a department manager at the Modell’s at 140 Flatbush Ave. said that the items at his location are also selling well. “We can’t keep it in stock,” he said.

It’s not only locals who will buy the gear, Hadaway predicted. Tourists often come into the store looking for items that say Brooklyn, and now there are all these items they can buy, he said.

A Modell

Hadaway expects sales to increase this weekend and once the Nets season starts. Half of Brooklyn probably doesn’t know the merchandise is available, he said. When the stadium opens, he continued, people are going to stop in here to buy items before games. (This Modell’s location is right down the street from the Brooklyn Nets’ stadium, the Barclays Center.)

Even though the NBA store on Fifth Avenue, between 47th and 48th streets, is about a 30-minute subway ride from the Barclays Center, people there were buying the Brooklyn Nets merchandise on Thursday. T-shirts and hats seemed to be the best sellers.

The team’s items dominated the store. The mannequins in the display windows were all dressed in Nets clothing and the team’s logo and “Hello Brooklyn” decorated the store’s front door. In one 30 minute period around lunchtime, about 15 people browsed through the team’s section; a few of them even bought items.

Walter Robin of Long Island, for example, scooped up a Brooklyn Nets hat for his son who lives in Brooklyn and attends Brooklyn Law School. His son likes basketball, and Robin’s daughter thought it would be good present for her brother’s upcoming birthday. Robin said his son is foremost a Knicks fan, but is planning on going to some Nets games.

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