The owners of the New Jersey Nets were in the process of moving the team from New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York. With the new geographic location, they were contemplating changing the franchise name, which posed a wide array of concerns and challenges. The franchise ownership engaged a Wharton Field Application Project (FAP) team to provide a name change analysis with recommendations. Separately, the owners hired a highly-regarded agency to provide recommendations. At the end of the project, both the Wharton FAP team and the outside agency provided virtually the same recommendations. Ultimately, the Nets organization implemented the recommendations and the Brooklyn Nets were born. The name change was a key component to one of the most successful rebranding efforts in professional sports history.
“I have collaborated with Wharton’s Field Application Project for various projects over the past few years and I’ve been impressed with the Wharton students, the quality of work, and the insights delivered each time,” said Gary Lieberman, WG’80, a former member of the Nets’ Board of Directors. “Across the board, these students have been excellent communicators, proactive, professional, and highly competent. They’ve understood the various business challenges and have been innovative and thorough in finding solutions. Overall, the FAP teams’ final project recommendations have been in line with, if not more impressive than, the results delivered by professional firms hired to solve the same business problems. In fact, the Wharton students have consistently delivered such high-quality results that I plan to engage FAP teams as my only solutions provider for two additional business projects this year.”
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