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SONICS AIM TO SHOW THE SOFTER SIDE OF ITS PAYTON PLACE
Published November 20, 1997
The Sonics' marketing strategy this year aims to "familiarize fans with the players' human side," according to Mike Roarke of the PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL. To help form a "long-term relationship between the team and its supporters," the team hired Seattle-based ad agency WongDoody to produce a series of ads "focusing on the personalities" of the team members. The ads are "not scripted," and feature six Sonics, including coach George Karl and Gary Payton, "interacting spontaneously" with people in "unrehearsed settings." In one spot, Payton is shown spending time with senior citizens; in another, Sam Perkins "playfully blocks" a child's shot on a mini-hoop, before sending him to bed. WongDoody's Tracy Wong feels that this type of campaign "could be what the NBA needs." Wong: "I think the NBA's problem now is the salaries are so astronomically high, a distance has been created between the players and the fans" (PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/17).