On the outside of the subway cars, a full vinyl wrap asked whether fans were “hopeful” or “hopeless” about the Knicks. Inside the train, seats carried a number of negative messages about the franchise, including: “Nothing Will Change Until Dolan Sells the Team,” a reference to the owner, James L. Dolan, and “The High Point Of The Last 25 Years Was The Movie Eddie.” There were also more positive messages like “Porzingis Was Designed In A Lab,” a nod to the star forward Kristaps Porzingis.
Those messages will soon be gone. According to a spokeswoman for Outfront Media, which handles subway advertising for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the campaign will be coming down at the request of Fox Sports.
“To my knowledge, they wanted to start a conversation, and I think it got bigger and they are taking it down,” the spokeswoman, Carly Zipp, said on Tuesday.
Fox Sports issued a statement about the campaign Tuesday evening. “Today, FS1 featured statements on a New York City subway car intended to reflect the distinct emotions and opinions of passionate sports fans,” the statement said. “We regret the tone and are removing the content in its entirety.”
A spokesman for the Knicks declined to comment.
Fox Sports began FS1 four years ago, as a competitor to ESPN. That effort has been uneven, as ESPN regularly draws four to six times as many viewers as FS1. Fox Sports executives have positioned the network as edgier and more fun than ESPN, introducing a number of daytime opinion shows. A buzz-generating ad campaign seemed perfectly in character.