On Monday (Oct. 24), Fox Sports Southeast and Fox Sports Go Platform announced a partnership with rapper T.I. to represent the Atlanta Hawks in a new promotional campaign. The King of Atlanta, known for putting on for his city, is credited with helping the Atlanta Hawks getting back on track with its core audience.
“As a sports fan and a supporter of all of our Atlanta teams including the Hawks, I take great pride in representing the city on the Fox Sports Go platform and shining the spotlight on the Hawks franchise and its players,” T.I. said in a statement announcing his role.
The Atlanta Hawks went through a controversial year in 2014 after former co-owner Bruce Levenson sent a racially charged email regarding the game attendance demographics and former general manager Donald Ferry made racist remarks in a conference call regarding a free-agent prospect.
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said T.I.'s support helped redeem the organization with African-American audiences: “The trepidation was on my side, and T.I. ran towards us and then he and I made that unique commercial. That was a real important night, because opening night after having the situation that we did with the insensitive remarks, we didn’t know if the audience was coming back. But we felt that with T.I.’s endorsement it said, ‘Hey guys, it’s cool. It’s cool to be a Hawks fan.' And then it took off.”
T.I.’s campaign with FOX Sports Go, filmed locally at The SWAG Shop on Edgewood Avenue, features his song “Top Back” from the album King (via Grand Hustle/Atlantic) and will debut on Thursday during the telecast of the season opener Hawks vs. Washington Wizards game (check it out below). Fellow Atlanta artist Killer Mike makes a cameo in the campaign.
“We’re elated to have the opportunity to collaborate with entertainers, especially when it’s someone so locally and culturally relevant as Tip,” says Jeff Genthner, senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports Southeast. “This new partnership truly showcases our strong connection with the Hawks, our viewers and homegrown music.”
In addition to the “Top Back” ad, FOX Sports Southeast and Tip will also debut other promotional spots showcasing the network’s exclusive coverage of the Atlanta Hawks team throughout the season.