OBNOXIOUS SPORTS!   HAWKS RIDE HISTORIC REGULAR SEASON INTO 2015 NBA PLAYOFFS

Posted on April 20, 2015

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It seems like yesterday when I first started covering the Hawks and there was a sea of empty seats.  I was there the night at the end of the worst season in the History of the franchise when the apoligize to the fans for the terrible season.  However, I spite of owners battling, major change in the front office, practically a whole new team, and the negative publicity about racial tension the Hawks has overcome and deserve to be recognized for their great achievement. 

The 2014-15 Southeast Division champion Atlanta Hawks entered the playoffs on the heels of the greatest regular season in franchise history, establishing new marks for wins, sellouts, season ticket memberships and retail sales, while also generating record-setting viewership totals for television broadcast partner SportSouth. Additionally, the Hawks saw a record 500% uptick in year-over-year season tickets sales, leading to one of the league’s strongest spikes in attendance percentage increase and a dramatic surge in team website traffic and social media popularity.

 

15 Playoff Mark - Kia Logo“We are humbled by the way the city of Atlanta has supported our team with their attendance, viewership and engagement socially and digitally,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Koonin said. “Excitement around Coach Bud and the team is at an all-time high and yesterday’s sold out crowd for our postseason opener is a testament to the belief this city has placed in our organization.”

 

The Hawks filled the seats at Philips Arena more than ever during the regular season, drawing a franchise-record 25 sellout crowds – including the final 11 home contests of the year and 24-of-the-last-27 games. Over 3,100 more fans per contest attended Hawks home games in 2014-15 than in 2013-14, a significant attendance percentage increase of 22.4%. In total, a Philips Arena record 713,909 fans attended Hawks games this season.

 

Viewership on SportSouth, the regional television home of the Hawks, grew by 120% compared to the 2013-14 campaign, including a 250+% increase among the millennial audience (18-34 years of age) and a 189% rise among viewers aged 18-49. On Feb. 2, SportSouth experienced what was then its highest-rated regular season Hawks broadcast ever, drawing a 4.7 household (HH) rating in the Atlanta DMA when the club traveled to New Orleans. Four days later, that record was broken when the Hawks garnered a 6.8 HH rating for their 124-116 home victory over Golden State – the highest-rated Hawks game, regular season or postseason, in the history of the network.

(Source: Nielsen NSI. Atlanta DMA Live + SD TV HH RATINGS)

 

Listenership of Hawks games on radio flagship WZGC-FM 92.9 The Game is up 16%, contributing to a top-five overall ranking among men ages 25-54 in a market with over 40 stations. Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer and CEO Steve Koonin have morning and afternoon segments on the station every week, helping 92.9 to reach top-five positions in morning drive, midday and afternoon drive rankings.

 

Retail sales of merchandise at Philips Arena’s Hawks Shop and its website HawksShop.com were robust, as they each recorded the highest seasonal gross sales figures in franchise history. The top 10 in-arena merchandise total sales days in team history all occurred this season, contributing to a 96% increase in gameday sales as compared to 2013-14. This season,HawksShop.com shipped items to all 50 states, and 25 nations around the world, as sales rose 203% compared to last year’s season-ending figures.

 

Fan engagement on Hawks.com and team social media accounts has reached new heights this season:

  • Facebook – Acquired 243,907 fans during the 2014-15 season, an increase of 25% from the beginning of the year
  • Twitter – Acquired 94,922 followers in the 2014-15 campaign, an increase of 138% from 2013-14
  • Instagram – Acquired 142,877 followers this year, an increase of 415% from 2013-14
  • Hawks.com – Page views surged to 10,501,713, a 57% increase from 2013-14; 3,435,590 unique visitors to the site this year, a 113% increase from last season

On the court, the Hawks amassed a franchise-record 60 victories, securing the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the 2015 Playoffs, presented by Kia Motors, and claiming their first division title since the 1993-94 campaign. Atlanta went 17-0 in January, setting the record for most wins in an undefeated month in NBA history, during a 19-game win streak that tied for the fifth-longest streak all-time. The Hawks became the first team to have five teammates named the Kia NBA co-Eastern Conference Players of the Month when the starting five shared the award in January. Atlanta tied a league record with four All-Star Game participants, and the coaching staff earned the privilege of coaching the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

 

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