Why we’ve gone into the overpriced-T-shirt business

The Brooklyn Game store with products about the Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Game store with products about the Brooklyn NetsBig Up To Brooklyn Hoodie

Why have we gone into the over-priced t-shirt business? This answer may be more than you want to know but for those curious, I thought I’d lay out why we’re trying to raise money this way.

A few things to know about us. We get no money from the Brooklyn Nets. We get no money from Barclays. This enables us to be fiercely independent. The game grades just wouldn’t be the same if we had to give everyone a B+ or higher every game, would they? But it means that financially we’re on our own.

We get some money from advertising but most of that comes through ad networks, and you may be surprised to hear how little those pay. A typical site might get something like a “$2 CPM,” which means that if an ad is viewed 1,000 times (which seems like a lot, no?) it generates all of $2 for us. (If you want to advertise, drop us a line!) But bottom line is, it’s very hard for a local, niche website like ours to make enough money from advertising these days.

Some websites are trying to solve this dilemma by putting up a subscription “pay wall” — say you cant read The Brooklyn Game unless you pay, say, $30 a year. We’re hoping to avoid that. We want as many of you as possible to read us!

So we’re trying an experiment. We’re setting up a store with some pretty slick items — some celebrating the Nets (“Big Up To Brooklyn”), some repping The Brooklyn Game. They actually look pretty damn good. We intentionally priced these items a little bit high, and we’re not pretending otherwise. (How many stores do you know that broadcast that their items are “overpriced”!?? Points for honesty, please) This way we’d generate a bit more revenue for The Brooklyn Game. (Though, it should be said, our hoodie prices are actually lower than some in the Nets store).

Or you could think of it as if you were becoming a Member of The Brooklyn Game and get a t-shirt (instead of a NPR totebag) as a special gift. (And we have set up a quasi membership program: if you send us a picture of you in your gear, you’ll get your picture in our Hall of Fame gallery and Devin will answer your question on line).

We need your support to continue to provide you all the great content on the Nets: player grades, breaking news, fan Rep Your Nets albums, highlights of fan opinions — and, most important, the best analysis of the Nets on the planet. I really think that’s true. I’d put Devin up against anyone for sheer basketball smarts, as well as sense of humor.

So please consider helping us out by buying something from the store. The gear honestly is pretty cool — and you’d be helping us to serve you.


Steven Waldman