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Nets owner Jay-Z recruits Knicks fans

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Jay-Z is unleashing a full-court press for his Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets -- hoping to steal Knicks fans from lower Manhattan.

The hip-hop superstar and part-owner of the Nets tipped off a major marketing campaign Monday aimed at enticing fans to bench the Knicks and score season tickets for his outer-borough hoopsters.

To kick off the promotional push, Jay-Z announced Monday on FOX 5 New York that the team officially would be renamed the Brooklyn Nets. The newly-christened team will dribble over to the borough's Barclays Center next fall.

It is the first time that the rapper is allowing his popular brand and universally recognized image to market Nets tickets.

“Jay-Z will be the face of the team’s fourth-quarter campaign” to sell 4,400 “All-Access” premium seats at the rapidly rising 18,000-seat arena, Nets CEO Brett Yormark said.

Their game plan is set to target Wall Streeters and residents of upscale neighborhoods like TriBeCa and SoHo.

Season packages include perks like free food and having the first shot at buying tickets to non-Net events like concerts and boxing. "The message is that the Barclays Center is much more than basketball," Yormark said.

The turf war will be fought with billboards, 150 taxi tops, 60 telephone kiosks and a whopping 250,000 coffee cups to be distributed to local stores. “We’ll be blanketing Wall Street with the coffee cups,” Yormark said.

Since opening premium-seat sales in April, the Nets -- whose majority owner is Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov -- have filled more than half of them.

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Tagged: Nets

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