The Atlanta Hawks, of the recently vastly improved records and perennial attendance woes, have announced a new marketing plan. It's based on Ashley Madison, the recently publicized website for married people seeking additional/other/replacement sexual partners.
The plan itself is brilliant. I've been in stitches since I read the ESPN article:
"I'm Ashley Madison," the video begins. "Have you had a little rough patch with your first love? Maybe they just don't deliver the excitement you need anymore. Feel the rush of a new relationship with the Atlanta Hawks' flex plan. Ten nights of pure unadulterated excitement. And don't worry, your old team never has to know."
Although I haven't seen the video, I'm sure it's great. Anything unique a company can do to market to its supporters is good in my books, and a basketball team taking advantage is even better.
There's only one small problem.
Ashley Madison is headquartered in Toronto.
That's right. The Hawks, in all their creative glory, are being about as regionally appropriate as that ill-advised choice for the Miami Heat to enter the court to The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". The White Stripes, of course, are from Detroit, and the Heat and the Pistons have never been on the best of terms. So where am I going with this?
In short, why didn't the Toronto Raptors think of an Ashley Madison-themed marketing plan?!
Instead, we have "We the North". It's reminiscent of the "Baseball North" campaign the Blue Jays had a decade ago. We get it. Most of Canada is geographically north of most of the United States. Neither the Raptors nor Blue Jays are near the northernmost teams in their respective leagues, though, considering Toronto is actually well south of the famed 49th parallel.
Perhaps the Minnesota Timberwolves and Seattle Mariners should be adopting Northern-themed ads of their own. Toronto teams should market themselves using images that are truly Torontonian...
...in this case, Ashley Madison. (I'm sure the Leafs already took peameal bacon on a Kaiser at some point.)
As for Atlanta? The city is home to Coca-Cola, one of the world's most visible brands. Hawks players, like Coke cans, wear red. There's got to be something there.