From the New York February issue: Taylor Swift, Ben Stiller, supermodel Kate Upton and, of course, Spike Lee have all had courtside seats for the New York Knicks this season to bear witness to the 7-foot-tall Latvian rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis sinking shots.
And on many game nights, Howard Lorber, the 67-year-old chairman of the mega brokerage Douglas Elliman, can be found next to that “Celebrity Row” stretch, sitting directly below the hoop.
That’s because last year, Elliman entered into a multi-year sponsorship deal with Madison Square Garden for the right to slap its grey-and-blue logo on an entire row of courtside seats at the arena. The deal also gives Elliman exclusive branding rights for the VIP lounge and a presence on the Knicks’ website, showcasing pictures of celebrities in “Elliman’s row,” where tickets typically go for upwards of $5,000 a pop.
Elliman declined to comment on the dollar value of the deal, but sources pegged it at several million dollars a year.
While the MSG deal might be considered a bold move on its own, it’s just one piece of a new marketing push by Elliman, which in the last two years has aggressively expanded into some of the wealthiest markets in the U.S., including Aspen, Los Angeles and Greenwich. [more]