Viral, Brilliant, or Mindless?

Brandt Andersen, owner of the Utah Flash, an NBA D-League team, thought it would be fun to have Micheal Jordan and Bryon Russell play a game of one-on-one during halftime of a Flash game on December 7th. Andersen reportedly offered $100,000 the winner’s charity of choice. Sounds like a good idea right? The only problem is that Michael Jordan never agreed to participate in the event.

In an attempt to be creative and viral the Flash’s marketing team decided to hire a Jordan look-a-like to loaf around the greater Orem-Provo area in order to drum up attention. This idea would have been far from iron clad even if Jordan had agreed to come, but the fact that they planned on pulling of this stunt whether he planned on coming our not reaches new heights of mindlessness and absurdity.

People that have confidence in their product do not revert to mindless or meaningless marketing tactics like hiring a look-a-like to drum up buzz about a fictional one-on-one basketball game.

Perhaps Andersen should re-evaluate the level of confidence he has in his product and the meaningful difference the Flash offers to their prospects.

The best part is when 7,500 people showed up at the McKay Event Center expecting to see the charitable halftime duel. When the crowd realized that they had been fooled by a faux Jordan they booed and left the arena.

In his own defense Andersen said,”This was done in fun…If you did not see it as fun or you feel we went over the top I am sorry.”

In other words: Just kidding guys. The “just kidding guys” defense does not work after junior high.

Here is a link to the AP article via ESPN.