The Atlanta Hawks’ Partnership With Celebrity Fans Is Best In The NBA

You can always expect to see superstars on the floor at State Farm Arena. However, only a few of them are wearing uniforms. Most of the star power is often sitting courtside in replica jerseys and iced-out chains.

If you have watched any Hawks games over the past few seasons, then you would understand the deep connection between the team and its city. The newly revamped arena nestled in downtown Atlanta has become a hotspot for A-list rappers and hip-hop artists.

In a time when most franchises try to present a generic and squeaky-clean appearance, the Hawks embrace the dirty south. The most recent example of this brilliant marketing strategy was on Thursday, February 20th – Quavo Night.

The front man for the rap group Migos, a group of native North Atlantans, has fully embraced his hometown team.

What ensued was a magical night of basketball and southern culture. The players wore their Nike City Edition “Peachtree” jerseys, while every fan received a Quavo Night shirt and was treated to a halftime performance by Street Bud.

Oh, and Trae Young dropped a career-high 50 points in a win over the Miami Heat. Quavo was the first to congratulate Young after the game. The two friends hugged it out, before Young gifted his sweat-soaked jersey to the rapper who immediately held it up in pride.

A night like this would be an outlier for every other team, but these sorts of moments have become the norm in State Farm Arena.

Chart toppers like Future, 21 Savage, Big Boi, T.I. and Lil Yachty are just a few of the many artists who have supported the team which fully reciprocates the love.

And how can we forget about when Gucci Mane proposed to his now-wife during the Kiss Cam at a game in 2016. Or when Killer Mike hosted a candid conversation with Dominique Wilkins and Ambassador Andrew Young on MLK Day in 2020.

But this relationship between the team and its celebrity fans is more than lip service or cross promotion. It’s an actual partnership. Rapper 2 Chainz bought into the organization when he became one of the co-owners of the Hawks’ new G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks.

The Skyhawks play in the brand-new Gateway Center in South Atlanta. A part of town where many rappers (including 2 Chainz) were born and raised.

The best marketing strategies are authentic and heartfelt, not some contrived plan born in a focus group. The social media hashtag #TrueToAtlanta isn’t so much a tool on twitter, as it is a clarion call for residents of The A.

In case you were wondering how this unique approach is paying off, the results speak for themselves.

On February 11th, Forbes announced its annual NBA franchise valuation. The value of the Atlanta Hawks has doubled since 2015 when Tony Ressler and his ownership group purchased the team.

Just last week, the league announced that the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena had finished #1 in overall in-game experience for the second year in a row.

Plus, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that local television ratings for the team showed a 49% spike in just a year.

Of course, a lot of the recent success must be attributed to the stellar sophomore season Trae Young is enjoying. The All-Star point guard is universally loved in the city and has gone out of his way to give back to those most in need.

Right now, there are very few NBA teams who have a stronger celebrity fan base than the Atlanta Hawks. The organization has fully embraced the city’s vibrant culture, and in an era when authenticity sells, business is booming on Peachtree.

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