Fox Sports 1 introduced an ad campaign within the NYC subway system targeting the NY Knicks; calling the franchise hopeless and insisting MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan is the root of the team’s failures. FS1 does not have rights to broadcast NBA games, so it’s believed the “pick a side” ads are meant to promote the network’s daily debate shows (one side of the train says “hopeless”, the other says “hopeful”). Dolan apparently was not amused, calling 21st Century Fox (FOXA) Executive Chairman, Rupert Murdoch, directly to complain about the messaging. It has since been reported that at FS1’s request, the ad wrap will be removed.
Howie Long-Short: Both the Islanders and NYCFC are looking to build new venues at Belmont Park. The Islanders have already submitted their proposal “to create a world class sports and entertainment destination”. NYCFC has until Thursday at 2p to submit their plans for a 26,000 seat facility. What does that have to do with Jim Dolan and MSG? Joining the Islanders in their proposal is the Oak View Group; an advisory, development and investment company focused on the sports and live entertainment industries. The company happens to be backed by Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG).
Fan Marino: Knicks fans seem unlikely to argue with the campaign’s messaging, “nothing will change until Dolan sells the team”. It’s odd though that the campaign takes target at Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony, considering neither are still with the franchise. I also question putting Tim Hardaway Jr.’s face next to the word “hopeless”. The Knicks signed him to a terrible contract; but he’s 25 years old, can play both shooting guard and small forward and averaged just shy of 17 PPG over his last 45 starts in Atlanta. Expect that number to increase as the Knicks will be looking to replace Carmelo’s 22.5 PPG.