SBD/Issue 150/Sports Media

Hawks Launch Playoff-Specific Microsite And Online Video Series

Hawks Playoff Site Part Of Overall Strategy
To Emphasize New Media
The Hawks, as part of an overall strategy to place greater emphasis on new media, earlier this month launched a micro-site to promote their ’09 playoff run at www.hawks.com/playoffs. The site is anchored by a series of videos titled, “Now You Know: An All-Access Look at the Atlanta Hawks in the 2009 NBA Playoffs.” The videos, shot internally by Hawks Interactive Content Producer Kyle Payne, are roughly two minutes long, with new episodes added once or twice a day. They feature game highlights, player interviews, footage of media sessions and practices, and other behind-the-scenes content. The format resembles other all-access shows like HBO’s “24/7,” but Payne said that the Hawks’ approach was “not as much about counting down” to an event as highlighting specific storylines within the playoffs. Payne: “We didn’t want to make it completely guerilla style.” The impetus for the series, said Payne, was to create a video equivalent to the kind of instant updates fans can get from teams and athletes through Twitter.com and other social networking sites. Team VP/Marketing, Advertising & Branding Jim Pfeifer said there is a plan to sign sponsors for the content, “but we don’t have anything in place right now.” Rather, the team’s strategy has been to “add as much content as we can this year,” according to Pfeifer, before actively seeking sponsors. The micro-site includes links to the home pages of playoff partners MetroPCS, Budweiser, Gas South and The Home Depot. The team has seen a 433% increase in video views on Hawks.com from March to April, when the series was introduced. Payne said if “Now You Know” is a success, it may become “more of a weekly thing” during the regular season, with episodes possibly focusing on individual players.

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