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A couple that met that first met at a promotional event held by the Atlanta Hawks in partnership with Tinder is now getting married, and Hawks CEO Steve Koonin is keeping a promise to pay for the wedding.
Ben McCleskey and Avery Armstrong began their relationship at the Hawks’ first ever “Swipe Right Night,” an in-arena promotion seeking to connect single Hawks fans. Months later, t he couple would return for another night with the Hawks during the playoffs, and posted pictures from their date-night together.
Excited by the romantic success of the evening, and the fact that one of the relationships that got together on the first “Swipe Right Night” was still going strong, Koonin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’d be more than willing to help should the couple stay together and eventually walk down the aisle.
“If they get married, the Hawks would be happy to host the wedding,” said Koonin, adding, “My treat.”
In 2016, the couple once again happily posted from the Hawks “Swipe Right Night,” this time as a success story from the original event. Hawks fans got to watch as their relationship evolved in real time.
And then. on Friday, Armstrong posted one more tweet for the couple, showing off the newest Hawks supporter in their family, announcing their intent to wed, and asking the Hawks if the offer still stood. Koonin was quick to reply.
“Avery and Ben: We are super excited for how your relationship has grown since you met at our first Swipe Right Night, and I will absolutely make good on my promise for the Hawks to host your wedding. We can’t wait to start making plans and meet your new little one.”
When the Atlanta Hawks held their first ever “Swipe Right Night” in 2015, they were a team struggling with attendance numbers and looking for new ways to put butts in seats. At the time,Koonin was the newly-named Hawks CEO and looking for bold ideas to get people coming to see the team, and partnering with the still somewhat novel dating app seemed a smart way to get a little buzz going around a team that had finished with the third-worst home attendance in the league the previous season.
The marketing ploy worked, as eventized nights (along with the best record in the East) helped the Hawks to jump all the way up to 17th in the league in attendance. Clearly, the night was also a striking success for some of the fans as well.
Best wishes to the happy couple.