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How much should NBA teams consult with players on marketing campaigns?

I found the Atlanta Hawks’ “Only Fans” campaign hilarious, even if some players disagree.

Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

Normally, I don’t comment on what other NBA teams do if they don’t involve the Washington Wizards. This case may be an exception, just because the campaign caught my eye.

Last week, the Atlanta Hawks released a ... steamy video of their mascot, Harry the Hawk, in seductive poses on a hotel bed with fitting music. It was part of their “Only Hawks Fans” campaign to advertise their In-Season Tournament games.

The term “Only Hawks Fans” is a shoutout to OnlyFans, a British-based video streaming service and social media network for content creators. While anyone, even this website COULD create an OnlyFans account with relevant NBA content, the majority of the accounts are from people who sell nude and pornographic pictures and videos of themselves. That’s why Harry the Hawk is looking like he is ... in the mood, if you will.

I found the campaign to be hilarious. But I get that parents of young kids will blush or feel that it’s inappropriate.

Dejounte Murray and Trae Young are not fans of the campaign, which they are more-or-less featured in. Young specifically said that he had nothing to do with it.

If nothing else, the campaign gets eyeballs on the Hawks.

So I’ll now ask a question: How much should teams consult with players in marketing campaigns? For the Wizards, Hawks or any team, marketing employees serve a different purpose than players: to sell tickets, hopefully for a good product on the floor. I don’t feel that the marketers have that much of an obligation to consult with players and coaches about every campaign.

In this case, the content is a bit more mature because OnlyFans is more or less a pornographic social network. But it’s also not like their star players were in that videof.

Let us know your thoughts on this campaign in the comments below.