If you found yourself near Atlanta’s Philip’s Arena in early January 2015, you likely would have seen crowds of people, dressed up (by basketball game standards), pouring into the stadium, staring at their phones.

They were all on Tinder.

Yep, Tinder. As a wildly unorthodox -- but no doubt genius -- marketing exercise, the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks hosted its first “Swipe Right Night,” inviting Tinder users to meet up at the game. The event was such a success that they did it again in March 2016; participants shared photos on social media and the event made news nationwide.

Behind this idea and many other innovative, out-of-the-box marketing strategies was Melissa Proctor, CMO for the Hawks. Proctor and her marketing team have employed fresh thinking to attract the attention of the Atlanta public and it has paid off. In August, the Hawks released its schedule on Twitter using only emojis.

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