EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Plenty of sports teams have given
away bobblehead dolls, caps and seat cushions. But the New Jersey Nets are trying to do more for their fans in these hard economic
times: Get them jobs.
The Nets announced Wednesday they are providing 1,500 free
tickets over the next two months to unemployed fans who submit
resumes to the team.
The NBA team plans to send the resumes to its 120 corporate
sponsors and a couple hundred firms that own season tickets.
"Our belief right now is let's invest in people who might
invest in us later," Nets chief executive Brett Yormark said in a
telephone interview. "In doing so, we can help people who need it
Nets spokesman Barry Baum said Wednesday night that the team had
received about 1,000 resumes.
Yormark said the Nets, however, are not guaranteeing jobs for
"Our sponsors and season ticket holders are always looking for
good talent," Yormark said. "They have not given us any
commitment. Hopefully, if they see a talented person they will call
them in for an interview."
The Labor Department last week announced that the nation's
employers cut 240,000 jobs in October, hurtling the U.S.
unemployment rate to a 14-year high of 6.5 percent.
The ticket giveaway for the unemployed will be for five games,
starting Nov. 22 against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Izod
Three hundred tickets in the upper level of the arena will be
available on a first-come, first-serve basis with each fan getting
four tickets to one of the five available games.
Fans seeking jobs can sign up for free tickets through the Nets'
Web site; they must e-mail their résumé, former employer, contact
information and career field of interest.
"This is an outlet for people to get their resume out there,
free of charge, in front of the right people, even if they take
advantage of the Nets' ticket offer or not," Yormark said.
The Nets also plan to have a career day at the Nov. 22 game with
companies setting up informational booths at the arena.
If the program is successful, Yormark said the team would
continue it next year.
"I think it's great," said Nets forward Jarvis Hayes, who will
make $1.9 million this season. "Everybody knows the economy is
struggling right now and if people can turn in their resumes to our
sponsors and get jobs, I think it is wonderful. Hopefully, when the
economy turns around we'll have more fans."
Center Josh Boone said that people need all the help they can
get with the state of the economy.
"It's always good when an organization can give back to the
community," said Boone, who will make $1.2 million this season.
"This is obviously one of those times."