Monday, September 08, 2014

12049: Hawks Need Black Ad Agency.

Wanted to comment further on the racist memo sent by Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson, as well as the punishment delivered to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry for his cultural cluelessness.

First, the Hawks’ chances of winning the NBA Championship in 2015 are less than zero—and not because LeBron James and Kevin Love are now in Cleveland. No, the team will not nab a trophy for the same reason the Los Angeles Clippers didn’t reach the Finals in 2014: Offensive Karma.

In 2011, MultiCultClassics identified Offensive Karma as a key driver to a team’s downfall. Offensive Karma is defined by a team’s display of offensiveness in the form of words or actions rooted in bigotry, discrimination and ignorance—which then leads to the team’s ultimate demise in the championship tourney. Donald Sterling sealed the Clippers’ fate last season. Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry executed a pickaninny-and-roll to doom the Hawks for the upcoming season.

Not sure why Ferry is only being disciplined for dissing Luol Deng. After all, Ferry was the recipient of Levenson’s 2012 memo, and he apparently kept it secret for years. It’s safe to presume Ferry responded to Levenson, as one does not usually ignore your owner-boss. For Ferry’s sake, let’s hope he didn’t reply with a text, email or some other retrievable form that could hurt him.

That aside, the next big question involves the future advertising and marketing of the Atlanta Hawks. The Clippers hired a new AOR, allegedly to create fresh branding to distance the team from the PR damage exacted by Sterling. Will the Hawks draw up a similar game plan? If so, it’s time to consider MultiCultClassics’ suggestion to bring in a minority advertising agency.

According to a lazy Google search, the Hawks are currently being serviced by a company named CSE, which specializes in sports marketing. But how well was this place performing if Levenson felt the need to conduct his own research and analysis on the fans?

In the Hawks’ case, it makes even more sense to draft a minority shop—and preferably a Black firm. If Levenson was correct in his memo, the team has a huge Black audience; hence, the Hawks could benefit from recruiting adpeople who hold expertise in connecting with Blacks. Plus, everyone knows Blacks love basketball.

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