After the first two seasons of splash, the Brooklyn Nets have begun a tumble down the NBA’s overall sales list.
The Nets fell out of the top 10 in team merchandise sales for the first time since moving to Brooklyn, according to a release from the NBA. They also did not have a top-15 selling jersey for the second straight year, after Deron Williams’s #8 jersey ranked sixth in 2012-13. (Williams led the Nets in jersey sales last year as well, ranking 22nd overall.)
After the initial buzz, the Nets sold the fourth-most NBA merchandise (which includes all team-related gear, like jerseys, t-shirts, and hats) among all teams during the team’s inaugural season in Brooklyn. There was an expected drop following the first push, but the team stayed in the top ten last season in merchandise sales after the trade for Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce, falling to seventh. Requests for further information regarding where the Nets fell this year were not immediately returned.
The drop is hardly a surprise. The Nets traded away both Garnett and Pierce, their two most marketable players, and have fallen to below .500 for their first time in three seasons in Brooklyn. Their local TV ratings are the lowest in the NBA, falling even behind the lowly Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s still a massive increase over their last years in New Jersey, when the Nets ranked 31st out of 30 NBA teams in merchandise sales. That’s right — they were behind even the defunct Seattle Supersonics. They also sold more Brooklyn Nets merchandise on their first day of branding than they had sold in their entire last season in New Jersey.
The Nets will play the Orlando Magic Wednesday night, in what could be their last game of the season.