Can The Knicks become More of the “Citi” Game?

Other than the name of the arena, its hard to find a spot that is not branded in the newly refurbished Madison Square Garden.  In addition to high prices for tickets and food, the fan comes across every brand imaginable, from Sobieski Vodka to the Foxwoods Final Five, as you traverse the halls of the MSG, all to cover the high costs and high expectations of sitting atop Penn Station.

So what’s next for the Knickerbockers? Well according to a story in this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek, it could be the naming rights to…the team. A story by Ira Boudway takes a look at the NBA’s last pristine environment, uniforms, and sees the end as being near for non-sponsored jerseys.

The league has already tested the waters with the WNBA, and the rest of the world has accepted multiple jersey sponsors as a way to gain exposure and offset cost, so can the Knicks be far away? Several sources point toward an April 12 Board of Governors meeting where the topic will be discussed, although many marketing experts see the deal as imminent. So what would end up on the front of the beloved Knicks? Many feel it would be Citi Group, the team’s largest partner, and not a bad fit (see the pictures).

While no one looked at the Nets, preferring to take the top 10 most valued franchises, there should be many suggestions for the Brooklyn-bound franchise. How about the Sbarros (a Brooklyn company?), or the Nathan’s? Even better yet, how about naming rights to the borough’s best restaurant…the Juniors. After all in the eys of many hoops fans, they will always be second fiddle to Carmelo and crew.

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