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This past weekend basketball fans learned the fate of many of the NBA’s biggest stars. For the media, the Brooklyn Nets stole the show landing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I am a little bias in believing Philly did better, but Brooklyn changed the sports dynamic in their city.

Imagine the Mets getting the better of the Yankees in free agency. In the minds of many baseball fans, this scenario is impossible because the Yankees are the class of the baseball in New York. Premier free agents want to wear the pinstripes not the blunderful blue. But, the Nets changed the narrative between the two team sharing the big apple.

Dominant brands need to maintain a certain level of clout to avoid losing ground to competitors. If the Knicks had the championship history of the Lakers or Celtics, then maybe its current perceived dysfunction may be ignored. Instead, it will cede ground to the Nets, who revamped their organization and community engagement.

In sports, winning free agency does not always lead to championships, with the NBA being the one exception. But, it can impact brand perceptions, especially in cities with multiple teams.