The Hornets have one of the better sports marketing departments in the NBA. With a team that is in the playoff hunt but doesn’t get much of the buzz (do you get it) of other franchises, Charlotte has to do whatever it can to make sure people don’t forget about them. Not a bad idea. And if you can have a little fun in the process, even better.
Take the most recent package the PR team sent out for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, coupled with a rollout of a website that shares the same theme. MKG is one of the better defenders in the NBA, and the team wants to give him an extra push for the All-Defensive team. So why not give MKG his own security company (complete with real working locks)?
The site features stats and clips to articles praising Kidd-Gilchrist as a defender, and there’s even the fake ad (seen above) to help promote his cause. There’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that reads, “WARNING: Coverage by MKG may result in opponent frustration, missed shots and turnovers.” This is fun because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, it gets the right information out there, and it’s supporting a player who does deserve a bit more recognition in the league.
It might be the sort of the thing Gregg Popovich will toss in his trash can and call “pandering,” but that’s more a reflection of Popovich than it is any sort of indictment on Charlotte. If teams want to have fun with their guys, I say go for it. Movies do it and TV shows do it during award season, so why can’t athletes?
Remember, Charlotte also did something similar for Al Jefferson last year with their “Big Al’s Paint” website for Al Jefferson where the then-Bobcats sent out actual cans of paint to people. So vote with your eyes, vote with your heart, or vote with your advanced metrics, but don’t fault Charlotte for its lack of trying.