Dan Masserman of Affordable Carting was one of the first, if not the first, partner to reach out to the Westchester Knicks when the team first came to fruition two years ago. Proudly referring to himself as an “Inaugural Partner,” Dan explained that one inquisitive phone call turned into so much more than he ever expected.
“My (now) finance’s graduation from Mercy College was at the Westchester County Center. It was a long ceremony, so I started looking around and noticed the Franzoso (Contracting) sign. He’s a great marketer so I thought, if he has a sign in here, I should too.” Dan called the County Center to see how he could advertise and was told “things were changing,” and that “a new contact will be coming in soon.” Curious to what was going on, he did some research and found out that a new D-League team was becoming a new tenant of the arena. “My immediate thought was: this is going to be awesome.”
What he thought would be just a sign turned into so much more. Fast-forward to this past season: Affordable Carting has its logo on all trash cans at the County Center and is the presenting partner of the Slam Dunk contest, pregame and halftime on the MSG Network broadcast, High School Doubleheader series, and Green Week, which included a “Go Green Night” with the team sporting special green jerseys.
A fixture at his courtside seats across from the visitors’ bench, Dan is known by many as the “jersey guy.” The proud owner of both home and away uniforms, along with orange and green jerseys he won during jersey nights, Dan often comes in full uniform. Which jersey he wears depends on how the team is doing. “If I wear the road jersey and we win, I wear it again for the next game. If we lose, I change it up.”
His seats also happen to be right in front of the Westchester Knicks suite, where Westchester’s general manager Allan Houston watches his team, often with high-profile friends such as New York Knicks general manager Steve Mills and Knicks Alum John Starks. “I grew up idolizing Allan Houston,” Dan said. “My mind still doesn’t wrap around the environment we have here. It’s amazing. I think about how lucky my son is to have this as he grows up; I wish we had something like this when I was a kid.”
Dan also has the distinction of being a part of another Westchester Knicks “first” – the first ever in-game proposal.
“I was talking to Marc (Miller, Director of Marketing Partnerships) at a game and was congratulating him on his recent proposal, but I said to him, ‘why didn’t you do it here, that would’ve been cool.’ He turned and looked at me and said, ‘why don’t you do it?'” Dan then struck up a conversation with Westchester Knicks Dancers Assistant Coach, Dina Giordano, at the Holiday Party and the two brainstormed a performance to remember. Two months later, ring in hand, Dan surprised his now-finance by jumping on court with the dancers with a bended-knee finish. Luckily, she said yes.
A lasting bonus from the experience is having the whole proposal on video. Dan says his fiance loves sharing it, that she often pulls out her phone to show friends and family the special moment. “It’s once in a lifetime, you know?” said Dan. “”This just doesn’t happen.”
“I can’t say enough about the dancers,” he said. “They were so supportive and positive and just all-around really, really cool about everything.” He estimates that he practiced the routine between 300-400 times, joining the team at more than one rehearsal to make sure he had the moves down pat.
Favorite Player: “Here’s the problem. I have a lot of favorites for a lot of reasons. Ben Strong developed a great relationship with my son, and still keeps in touch. Jordon Crawford was so fun to watch, and Jimmer was so nice. I loved chatting basketball with Travis (Trice). All that being said, the guy I enjoyed talking to more than anyone was Langston Galloway. When he comes back to the County Center, he always makes sure to say hi and he reached out to congratulate me (on the proposal). An NBA player reached out to ME. He was the one who launched it all.”
Favorite Promotion: “The Affordable Carting Slam Dunk Contest!”
Favorite Moment: “The cliche moment is obviously the proposal. But the best moment for me so far was opening night, year one. Adam Silver was there; I got my picture with him on the stage – which came full circle when he happened to be back the night of my proposal and I got a congrats from him. Honestly though, every night is a different favorite moment. Something cool happens every night.”
(Editor’s Note: Dan RARELY misses a game. One he happened to miss? The night Floyd Mayweather showed up. When reminded of that, his response was, “See? You really can miss something by not going to every single game!”)