We love working with our city’s NBA team, especially because the players are even more fun off the court than on. As part of the Hawks Meet the Team event at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta, we kept the focus on highlighting the love of sport and putting the play back in the game. Lots of interactive features and opportunities for Instagrammable moments delighted the 1,200 attending fans of all ages.

One cool thing about having a client you work with repeatedly is that some of the really great décor pieces you make get to have a second life. That was the case with the graffiti backdrop, which we had created for the Taste of the Hawks event. We flanked it with model skyscrapers, a chain-link fence and bleachers for that true inner-city court feel. Once again, it made an ideal spot for posing. 

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Balloon walls are all the rage right now, and our take on it was to create an 8-ft.-tall structure with inflatable basketballs and balloons in Hawks red and black. We placed funhouse mirrors on the sides of the wall for guests to have fun with while they waited for a turn to pose. 

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“Meet the team” was truly emphasized throughout event. Instead of having players do a typical meet-and-greet, we made sure they could interact with fans and take photos in a fun way.

Downstairs on the court, we placed additional photo-taking spots and a variety of hands-on activities, each one hosted by different players. At “In the Paint,” attendees got to pose in front of a cool, oversized white Hawks logo that had been splatter painted à la Jackson Pollock.

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Nearby, the “Nothing but Net” photo op had a backdrop with a gold net and a 180-degree photo station to capture guests’ Boomerang pictures as they “swooped” in to make the basket. A share station allowed guests to automatically share their photos on social media or receive them by email. 

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The “Double Double Puzzle” photo station featured a giant puzzle piece based on the message that the fans are the “most important piece” of the Hawks puzzle, and a mirror selfie station repeated this jigsaw puzzle theme. 

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Social media photos taken care of, guests had plenty of interactive entertainment options to visit. An adult coloring station let anyone with a penchant for staying in the lines to color in a custom Hawks graphic with bright markers. Airbrush painters offered Hawks logos and thematic basketball stencils on red, white, and black baseball caps, while mobile temporary tattoo attendants strolled through the party with custom logos in finite ink. Strolling magicians and balloon artists entertained guests in between activities. And everyone enjoyed drinking sodas from Hawks-branded crazy straws. (image 1036_ , 1057_)

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Throughout the venue, we ensured a cohesive look and feel with oversized graphic signs raised on poles for easy visibility. These identified the various activities, food stations and bars. 

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Our free throw: Working with the Hawks and dedicated basketball fans puts WM Events back in the paint for the 2020 NCAA Final Four parties next spring in Atlanta!

Photography: PWP Studio

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