The Atlanta Hawks have the zaniest social media presence among all NBA teams, and they’re now taking advantage of the Ashley Madison fiasco to sell a few extra game tickets for next season.
In a clever nod to the pro-infidelity website, whose hack this summer rocked thousands of marriages, the Hawks are using three people actually named Ashley Madison in the hopes of creating a “new love affair” with the team.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) September 18, 2015
The Hawks’ top marketing guy, who says this promotion is aimed at a younger and more digitally-savvy fanbase, jokes that he was scared by how receptive everyone was to the idea.
The campaign is a play on the cheating site of the same name. The site gained worldwide attention after its user database was hacked, revealing names of people whose credit cards were used for services. […] “We were talking about how we wanted people to have a love affair with us, and we thought this was a playful way to do it,” said the team’s chief marketing officer Steve Koonin. “Everyone thought it was a good idea, which actually scared me.”
The Hawks set up a hotline with the number 855-HAWK-LUV, which forwards to a recording of a woman using a sexy tone to get fans to ticket representatives.
Koonin said the team is trending toward 10,000 season tickets sold, which is a far cry from the 3,200 sold last year. It’s a marked turnaround for a team that had major issues after racist remarks made by its former co-owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry, which resulted in Levenson selling the team and Ferry departing the organization. Since then, the team has hired a diversity and inclusion officer, finished with a franchise-best 60 wins and was sold this summer to a new ownership group that includes billionaire Tony Ressler, Spanx owner Sara Blakely and entrepreneur Jesse Itzler.