A negative Knicks campaign spotted this week on NYC subway trains has come to an end. The culprit behind the ads might shock you.
Turns out the ads were part of an FS1 campaign. The ad wraps were featured on the Times Square to Grand Central train, where riders were asked to “pick a side or to “Sit here if you blame Phil,” “Sit here if you blame Melo,” and “Sit here if you blame Dolan.” It featured photos of current Knicks players including Tim Hardaway Jr. and Joakim Noah.
Not all of the messaging was negative. There were photos of Knicks budding star Kristaps Porzingis that featured the word “hopeful.”
Madison Square Garden executive chairman Jim Dolan didn’t find the campaign funny. Adam Zagoria of SNY reported on his blog that Dolan phoned Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp. – Fox’s parent company – to complain about the ads.
“Today, FS1 featured statements on a New York City subway car intended to reflect the distinct emotions and opinions of passionate sports fans,” Fox said in a statement. “We regret the tone and are removing the content in its entirety.”
The Knicks weren’t the only team featured in the campaign. The New York Giants’ Eli Manning and New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge were also included. But the messaging around Judge was both parts critical and encouraging. The Yankees aren’t tripping, likely because the Yankees are, you know… winning.
My personal favorite was the reference to the 90’s movie “Eddie” that starred Whoopi Goldberg as a distraught, outspoken Knicks’ fan who ends up as the coach.