Atlanta Hawks entertainment goes beyond the court during NBA playoffs
For most basketball enthusiasts, the NBA playoffs stands as the most wonderful time of the year. With the top basketball players going head-to-head in a quest for the Larry O’Brien trophy, each second and shot matters to determine the NBA champions.
However, for the Atlanta Hawks, the entertainment goes beyond the court as the team seeks to make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row.
Although the home team faced the Heat on the road in Miami for game 2 of the first round of the playoffs, fans in Atlanta got the opportunity to enjoy a watch party at the State Farm Arena.
With lighting similar to that of a concert, fans enjoyed music provided by DJ Mohawk, performances by ATL Dancers and the Hawks’ marching band, and prizes.
“We do this for the fans,” says Joe Abercrombie, SVP of Live Entertainment and Production for the Atlanta Hawks. “We give the Hawks’ fans that communal space to come in and celebrate. We just want to put on a good show and put the game on one of the biggest screens you can find in town. As the playoffs progress, this will get bigger and bigger. We have a script and plan. We have a host, we have a DJ, we have some entertainment here. We have our mascot here and we put on a scripted show.”
The Hawks have worked to incorporate the city’s culture into its entertainment package. With Atlanta standing as one of the top cities in terms of music and film, the Hawks have produced live halftime and postgame concerts with artists such as Migos, Future, 2 Chainz, Latto, and Gunna to name a few.
During game 3 of the NBA playoffs at State Farm Arena, the team called on R&B sensation Queen Naija to perform the “Star-Spangled Banner.” And during a break in play, the Hawks presented the Atlanta-based rap group Youngbloodz who performed their hit, “Damn!”
The Hawks would go on to defeat the Miami Heat in a nail-biter by a score of 111-110. In game 4 of the playoffs, the Ying Yang Twins would perform “Get Low.”
On any given night, top celebrities such as Jay-Z, Cardi B, Chris Tucker, Quavo, Swizz Beatz, and Kandi Burress can be seen sitting courtside at the Hawks game.
“This is Atlanta and the stars come out for the Hawks,” Abercrombie says. “And so we want to reflect that. Every home game, we bring our own stars and celebrities to the table and some surprise guests. But we always want to bring a heightened sense of entertainment. Some of it is a surprise, some of it we put out there and promote and people know what’s coming. But every NBA game, it’s a big deal. People expect the NBA to be a show. And so we bring it every home game here at State Farm. It’s a whole other ballgame.”
The Atlanta Hawks will host a watch party for game 5 at State Farm Arena on April 26.