The Brooklyn Nets, Juventus F.C. Cross-Over


For the first time ever, a Serie A soccer team will collaborate with an NBA team when the Brooklyn Nets will have a “special themed” Juventus F.C. night as part of its December 7th game against the Toronto Raptors. More specifically, “a watch party will be held for Juventus’ domestic fixture against rivals Inter Milan, with the match shown on screens in the New York venue” before the game against the Raptors. In addition, the Barclays Center will be adorned with Juventus “branding” that night as well including that “the stadium’s outside lighting will also promote the Juventus brand.”  

Why would the Nets and Juventus agree to do this, besides the fact that they share similar team colors? The answer likely focuses on increasing revenue through better targeting of the U.S. fan base. In particular, European teams appear to see an advantage in targeting specific cities and regions rather than relying on national activations.

It is true that the European leagues have been successfully making inroads into the U.S. for years through television broadcasts like the Premier League now on NBC Sports. In addition, European sides have played exhibition games in the U.S. for years with La Liga taking the step of scheduling a regular season match in Miami for the first time in January 2019 featuring Barcelona, “as part of a 15-year deal struck between La Liga and entertainment company Relevent to play one Spanish regular-season game in the U.S. every year.”  

Arguably all of these activations, however, are focused on a league building a national or larger audience in the United States. Teams are looking at taking a different approach. While this may be the first time a Serie A team and an NBA team have worked together it is not the first time this type of collaboration has occurred in the U.S. In November 2017, Schalke 04 and the St. Louis Blues partnered together for activations in the city for the match against rival Borussia Dortmund.

In last week’s post we talked about the importance of the marginal fan as central component of the Ticketmaster, Fanatics deal. These are fans that can be persuaded to make a purchasing decision or increase brand engagement through marketing or advertising. It is likely that both Juventus and Schalke have identified Brooklyn and St. Louis, respectively, as specific areas in the U.S. where they can increase their fan bases. Each time they have or will create unique experiences with local teams to target these fans.

How could Juventus or Schalke identify these areas / teams as good partners for this type of collaboration? One possible way is through social media account analysis. Our Social Sentiment Analysis Platform (SAP) can use Twitter to analyze the followers of specific accounts for demographic information including age and gender. We then compare the demographics of the followers from each account to determine overlap.  

In the table below you can see a comparison of the Nets and Juventus and why this partnership is a good fit from our SAP results. Brand means a company or business that follows an account rather than an individual person.   


We have not worked directly with any of the teams mentioned in the post, so we do not know exactly what analysis they did to determine why these cities would be a good fit. However, it is likely that both Juventus and Schalke did something similar to an SAP analysis to determine that Brooklyn and St. Louis, respectively, were good cities to target. Leveraging the relationship that one team has with its fans is a similar approach that other teams can use to target new fans in a different market.