Atlanta Hawks CMO Melissa Proctor on Partnering with Nike in Honor of Dr. King


I first met Melissa Proctor, CMO of the Atlanta Hawks, when she taught a Masterclass at the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit alongside Adam Grossman, CMO of the Boston Red Sox and Julian Duncan, CMO of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I was blown away from the first minute, I knew I had to have her as a guest on CMO Moves.

Inspirational leader who went from Ball Girl to CMO, according to the title of her recent book, she has had such an interesting journey, driven by her determination and perseverance. Encouraged by her mother from the start to go for her dream job in the NBA, it took all her effort and creativity to secure that first opportunity to be a ball girl. This same creativity has become her ultimate asset guaranteeing all the stops between the ball girl and now CMO.

Today, on Martin Luther King Day, we share his success story as well as his big news. For the past three years, she has been working on an important moment that will take place later in the day. The Atlanta Hawks will wear their new uniforms that proudly wear “MLK” on the front of their jersey, not Atlanta, not Hawks, just “MLK”.

And it’s not just a uniform. The three-year trip included enormous research to fully connect and empower the city of Atlanta, working with the community, local organizations and the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. And a commitment to the future to ensure that fairness and equality are better accepted and understood by all.

“We’ve been doing this work for a very long time and now we really encourage our fans to come with us. And if it’s about walking, protesting, volunteering or whatever, really educating about Dr. King’s legacy, which was one of the things King of State was adamant about as we’ve been in our deal from the very beginning, we really want to make sure the next generation of Atlantans and Hawks fans understand the work that Dr King has been doing. And not just by reading about Dr. King, but also by reading King. A lot of people don’t know that he’s written a number of books, so we’re going to have a series of books on our website and [share] or our gaming experience and on our social networks. “

The work of Melissa and her teams will not only be recognized locally, but has already gained worldwide recognition from none other than the Pope. Yes, I said the Pope, who when he found out about it today, requested that an MLK uniform be shipped to him so he could bless him and send him back.

Not only do I feel lucky to be able to share Melissa’s story today in honor of Dr. King, but I finally get to use the infamous Pope emoji for good reason!

Tune in to hear all of Melissa’s amazing moves that have brought her fully into the game and able to take such meaningful action.



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