With the snazziest of press releases, the Indiana Pacers announced this morning that they will be wearing Hickory High uniforms inspired by the move Hoosiers for select games this season. The wardrobe addition is meant to celebrate the cultural heritage of Indiana basketball and the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest
sports movies of all time.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 21, 2015
Using George Hill’s male model looks to help promote this idea was a savvy move by the Pacers PR department, but it really doesn’t need much selling. Everyone loves Hoosiers. Inspired by the true story of the Milan High School basketball team which won the Indiana state championship in 1954, the movie is a celebration of all things plucky and underdogged. As you would expect, the announcement was met with universal excitement, especially by this guy:
— Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) July 21, 2015
In all seriousness, this is a genius move. PR departments have become increasingly self-aware, using humor and direct engagement with niche groups of fans to draw attention to their teams in all the right ways. From the Atlanta Hawks adjusting their Twitter avatar to accommodate their win streak, to the Denver Nuggets Twitter account trolling the Cleveland Cavaliers. Organizations are recognizing the nature of the basketball conversation fans are having with each and on social media, and they’re inserting themselves right in the center. If you want to develop a cult following, finding out what the cults are into and hop on board. This uniform promotion is the kind of thing Pacers fans would have dreamed up over a few beers. The fact that it’s actually happening is everything right about the modern NBA.