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Is something brewing here?
An long-time sports business executive, who works on the marketing side, called me the other day, and offered a strong opinion on the Jets’ uniform unveiling last week.
“They were really pushing the New York thing,” said the long-time sports marketer.
New York is displayed prominent on the Jets’ new jerseys.
This is the second industry insider who made this observation to me after that press conference.
And this week, a week after the press conference, there was a video that went viral of Jamal Adams dancing, with a bunch of professional dancers, in the Jets’ new uniforms, on a pier overlooking Manhattan.
Clearly there is a narrative being pushed here by the Jets.
The narrative is they want to make a big push, to have an even bigger presence, in their old stomping grounds of New York.
Yes, they have been always called, “The New York Jets.”
But since 1976, the Jets have played in the Meadowlands, first at Giants Stadium, and then at MetLife Stadium.
Then in 2008, they moved their long-time training complex from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York to Florham Park, New Jersey. so for the last 11 years, the Jets have both trained in New Jersey and played there.
So their entire footprint has basically been in New Jersey the last decade.
But they still have a big chunk of their fan base in Queens and Long Island.
The Giants stronghold is in the Bronx, Westchester and Southern Connecticut.
This is well-documented.
The reason for the Giants strong following in the Bronx, Westchester and Southern Connecticut is they played in the Bronx for a long-time, close to Westchester and Southern Connecticut. They also played at the Yale Bowl in Connecticut for a few years.
The Jets long-time home was Shea Stadium in Flushing, so that explains their strength in Queens and Long Island.
Now obviously there are a lot of Jets fans in New Jersey (a lot of people moved from Queens and Long Island to New Jersey over the years), but there are clearly more Giants fans. You just have to walk around North and Central New Jersey, and look at the team gear people where to see this. South Jersey is Philadelphia Eagles country, so neither the Jets or Giants have much of a presence in that part of the state.
You go to sporting goods stores in North and Central new Jersey, or stores like Walmart, even around Florham Park, the Jets home office, and there is more Giants stuff on display.
So the Jets are clearly trying to up the ante in New York.
And it’s possible that this initiative isn’t just to sell more merchandise there, but perhaps preparing for a possible move back in the future.
We all know the Jets wanted to build a stadium on Manhattan’s West side, but the lobbying of people like Sheldon Silver and James Dolan effectively stopped that initiative.
So they took up the Giants offer to share the new stadium.
But as we first reported here, the Jets have an out in 2025 to move out of MetLife Stadium.
We hear the teams often don’t get along related to stadium matters.
So it’s possible the Jets could move in the future if they can get a stadium deal.
This is probably a long-shot at this point, but something to keep in mind.
And this might be part of this heavy New York theme to their stadium unveiling.
April 11, 2019
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