WHAT A COINCIDENCE!
Durant, of all people, sneaks into Knicks’ season-ticket renewal notice photo
A photo that included Kevin Durant was posted and removed by the Knicks after the team was accused of sneakily using its top free-agent target to sell season tickets.
Screenshots captured by fans showed the photo of Durant in a Warriors uniform with Knicks center Mitchell Robinson alongside a link to “learn more” about season-ticket renewal information. Not long after the promotion surfaced on Twitter, the picture was gone from the team-affiliated website, nykmembership.com.
“Game action photos are used all the time for marketing purposes, but given everything going on, we took the precaution of taking the photo down,” the Knicks said in a statement. “To be clear, it was one of several rotating photos on the website.”
Indeed, it’s common for teams to include opposing stars in advertisements — especially for single-game promotions. In this instance, though, the suggestion was that Durant could be part of a larger purchase. After all, Durant’s free agency has dominated the conversation around New York all season.
The Knicks are in the midst of a franchise-record 16-game losing streak and have been selling the fan base on landing a superstar free agent in the summer. Not-so-subtly including Durant in a photo with Robinson, if intentional, could be a smart strategic move. It would also be frowned upon by the Warriors, who are hoping to re-sign Durant themselves and have had to deal with the very real threat of the Knicks.
The Atlanta Hawks, for instance, were fined for tampering in 2013 after sending out letters to prospective ticket buyers that mentioned two players who were not on the team — Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Both stars were slated to become unrestricted free agents that summer, much like Durant will be on July 1.
The deadline for season-ticket renewal is Feb. 28. Attendance this season is down at MSG for a third straight year and ratings on MSG Network have plummeted 44%. The Knicks (10-45) are well on their way to a fifth consecutive season with at least 50 losses, which has never been done in franchise history.
Knicks expect to make big pitch for Kevin Durant in offseason, and just in case season-ticket holders needed a reminder, they got one. AP/SCREEN SHOT VIA TWITTER