If there’s anyone who knows about building and maintaining relationships, it’s Mark Franzoso. His company, Franzoso Contracting, Inc., has been a staple in Westchester and Putnam County since 1980. His company’s sign was hung in the Westchester County Center before the Westchester Knicks came along, but he knew he wanted to have a bigger part in the newest team of a franchise he has a storied history with.
Mark has been a season ticket holder for the New York Knicks since 1992, and has been a New York Liberty ticket holder as well. So when he heard about a new Development League team coming to his backyard, he knew he wanted to be a part of it. “I knew you guys were coming to Westchester, so I signed up!” Mark explained. “It’s such a benefit to our area, having a high-level sporting event. You know, being a Knicks season ticket holder, I’ve seen the highest level of play. I’ve seen some incredible basketball. But for some reason, the intensity of these (Westchester) guys just amazes me. It’s incredible.”
“Take a guy like Jordon Crawford. He’s amazing. I’ve nicknamed him the ‘Charlie Hustle’ of basketball. I love that guy.”
With the Franzoso suite right next to the official Knicks suite, Mark has gotten to know some of his favorite players from Knicks past. “I’m a big John Starks fan – he was my guy – but I never had the chance to get anything signed by him. So I caught him at a Westchester game and he signed a jersey for me.”
He’s not the only one in his circle who has had the opportunity to meet players. Mark hosted the Friends Network, a not-for-profit that provides social opportunities for adults with disabilities, at a Westchester Knicks game and wanted to do something extra special for them.
“I happened to catch Coach (Miller) before the game and told him about the group. Next thing I know, he sends up two players to meet the group and take pictures.” The group also had the opportunity to shoot some hoops after the game. “They loved it,” Mark said.
“One of the commercials I run is about relationships,” Mark explained. “It’s (Westchester) such a small world. At the games, I see people I know and have done business with, and I’ve met a lot of new people too.” He brings a mix of employees, clients, and friends to the games and is happy to be a part of the family. “It’s a lot of fun. If you haven’t experienced it yet, I encourage you to come.”
Favorite Player: “Darnell Jackson, from the first year. He was a great guy. When he had his baby towards the end of the season, I brought him a box of stuff from Babies R’ Us. This year, it’s Jordon Crawford, because of his hustle.”
Favorite Promotion: “Coming from a businessman who does his own marketing, I think the ball relay, with the kids putting balls into garbage cans, tied into Affordable Carting (a commercial & residential dumpster service) is just genius.”
Favorite Moment: “I don’t remember what game it was, but Crawford made this vertical leap in front of the visitors’ bench that was just amazing. He must have jumped 6 feet into the air!”