SportSouth will pay tribute to the “Human Highlight Film” during its Friday night telecast of the Atlanta Hawks-Cleveland Cavaliers contest.
As part of ‘Nique Week,’ the Hawks tribute to franchise icon Dominique Wilkins, SportSouth will cover the Hall of Famer’s halftime speech to the crowd at Philips Arena.
Wilkins, now a SportSouth analyst, was known for his amazing levitation and rim-rattling dunks. The team – through 56 telecasts, the first-place Hawks have scored a 120% rise to a 2.2 household rating in the Atlanta DMA on SportSouth -- has unveiled a 13.5-foot statue depicting Wilkins in windmill wind-up mode, outside Philips Arena.
Those lucky enough to check out the Easter Conference-leading Hawks against LeBron James and company in person will see a state-of-the-art 3D projection tribute to Wilkins prior to tipoff, while the first 21,000 attendees will receive a commemorative, Dominique jersey-inspired, No. 21 T-shirt, courtesy of Novo Nordisk. The Hawks are replacing traditional game programs with 21,000 individually-numbered Wilkins-themed magazines. Additionally, Levy, the food and beverage vendor at Philips Arena, is offering specially-designed cups for drinks purchased at concession stands on game day.
“Dominique is one of the greatest athletes in the history of Atlanta sports and it’s only fitting that Friday night be as memorable for him as he has been for the Hawks franchise and this city,” said former Turner Broadcasting System executive and current Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena CEO Steve Koonin said. “Every facet of our game will pay homage to the legacy he’s created on and off the court.”
Throughout the game, career highlights and special acknowledgement videos from fans and current players will be aired in the arena. During a halftime ceremony, Wilkins will be presented with a special gift from the 2014-15 Hawks team, and will also receive a one-of-a-kind piece of art before addressing the Philips Arena crowd. Fans are also encouraged to visit Hawkville in Philips Experience and leave a personal message for the legend inside the Dominique Wilkins photo gallery.
The week-long toast to the Hawks’ all-time leader in points and games played included the unveiling of the aforementioned statue and a private luncheon for invited guests. Highlights from the private ceremony honoring Wilkins premiered during a special hour-long presentation, Celebrating Nique at 8 p.m. on March 5 on SportSouth. The program re-aired last night at 11 p.m. and will encore again on Friday, March 6, at 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
“Dominique’s greatness on and off the court as a Hawks player and now a broadcaster is unmatched,” said Jeff Genthner, senior vice president and general manager, Fox Sports South. “Celebrating Nique will put a well-deserved spotlight on the most iconic player to ever wear the Hawks uniform.”