It was always a possibility, but as the NBA labor negotiations continue to disintegrate, the likelihood of a professional basketball season is diminishing.
Bob Sommer, spokesman for the Prudential Center, in Newark, said the New Jersey Devils are increasing radio advertising and social media presence in order to entice professional sports fans missing the New Jersey Nets.
Like other NBA arenas, the Prudential Center is waiting for a definitive answer from the league on whether games will be played in order to fill the building's calendar, Sommer said.
"From the Devils' perspective, we never want to wish any other professionals sports league ill will," he said. "We certainly hope the NBA and the players come to an agreement and have a season, and obviously, the NHL went through that a few years ago."
Sommer said contracts for most of Prudential Center's suite holders are for all events at the arena, not for just a specific team. Sommer also said the Devils have not reached out to the Nets' high-end clients, as "that's information that you work hard to acquire and not something you want to give up."
While the Devils are continuing to market to hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike, Seton Hall University knows it has a chance to reach an unfulfilled market of basketball fans.
Associate athletic director of external affairs Jamison Hannigan said the Pirates are evolving their ticket marketing plans with the ebb and flow of the NBA negotiations.
"Because the lockout is more of a definitive possibility today than it was even a week ago, we're looking at different strategies in the next month or two to capitalize on that fan that's now realized, 'OK, the Nets, the Knicks, they're going to give me back my money for my season tickets, and I still want to go see an event,'" Hannigan said.
"It's a very evolving topic for us right now. We did our traditional planning in the summer focusing on ourselves," Hannigan said. "We wanted to show the casual fan base in the North Jersey market that we are that best option if you want to come see an event at the Rock."
Hannigan said the team is considering more direct language in its next ticket promotions for mini-plans and group sales, the school would never directly target another franchise. Instead, Seton Hall is looking at options to move game times to avoid conflicts with other ongoing regional sporting events.
"Our ticket sales are moving in a positive direction, but we have yet to say, OK, it's because of the NBA lockout," Hannigan said.
Seton Hall added two new VIP lounges for season ticket holders, and for the first time started passively marketing suite opportunities for business clients "looking for a premium experience to entertain their client," Hannigan said.
Also, Seton Hall shifted their in-season advertising budget to more flexible media, including digital billboards, as a way to "expect for the best, plan for the worst."