Atlanta Hawks and Crown Royal Honor 125 Military Personnel With Courtside Seats

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, February 28th, 2020

For a fourth consecutive season, the Atlanta Hawks and Crown Royal joined together to honor more than 120 active and retired military personnel and their guests at the club’s ‘Crowning Courage’ event. Earlier today, and as an expression of gratitude for their service, Hawks’ Season Ticket Members generously donated their courtside seats to veterans and a guest to enjoy the team’s game against the Orlando Magic.                  

“The Atlanta Hawks and Crown Royal are forever grateful to the real heroes of this country,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin. “This meaningful event is one of the ways that we say ‘thank you’ for the sacrifices made by these courageous men and women as well as their families.”

At a private pregame reception held at the arena, troops, their guests, and Season Ticket Members were greeted by Atlanta Hawks Owner Jami Gertz just before a special ‘Toast to Generosity’ led by Director of Whisky Engagement for Crown Royal Stephen Wilson. As part of the program, Colonel Stephen G. Ruth, US Army TRADOC Commander's Planning Group Chief, delivered a keynote on his time serving, which resulted in various military awards including the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals, two Defense Meritorious Service Medal and six Meritorious Service Medals

“We’re honored to return as a partner with the Atlanta Hawks on their Crowning Courage event this year,” said Nicola Heckles, Brand Director of Crown Royal Whisky at Diageo. “We believe that our iconic purple bag represents so much more and can bring hope and uplift communities as they honor those that have served.”

The red-carpet treatment for the veterans also included customized Hawks’ jerseys that featured their military unit number. Prior to the start of the game, Hawks forward John Collins, whose mother and uncle served in the United States Air Force, welcomed the military in attendance. During various moments of the game, vignettes were displayed on the arena’s centerhung which showcased some of the stories of those military members who are in attendance. At halftime, a select number of veterans, including a World War II veteran, were recognized at the center of the court.

Fans of legal drinking age were also asked to stop by The Crown Royal Purple Bag Project stations on the arena’s concourse by Gate 1 and on the 200 Level at the Crown Royal bar to pack care packages in the whisky brand’s iconic purple bags to be sent to active-duty servicemembers overseas. The Crown Royal Purple Bag Project, and its charity partner Packages From Home, has a goal to inspire exceptional generosity but distributing 1 million purple bags to military by 2020.