Tony Allen was an important member of First Team MEM and we will miss him. We wish him the best as he heads to New Orleans to start the next chapter of his career.
When we first embarked on reinventing the Memphis International Airport’s image, one of the initial recommendations from our marketing firm, RedRover, was to align with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are one of the most beloved entities in the city, and it made sense to partner with them in order to connect with the community.
As we looked at aligning with a particular player to help deliver our message, Tony Allen emerged as the overwhelming choice. His “grit and grind” persona was exactly what we were trying to convey as we worked to transition from being a hub to an origin and destination airport, something that requires tenacity, optimism and hard work. Tony Allen captured those attributes perfectly, and that’s why he resonated so well with a community that reflected those same characteristics.
The airport ended up using his likeness in photos and video commercials and vignettes. Simply put, working with Tony was a lot of fun. It’s pretty cool when asked what you did at work that day, and you could respond, “I shot a commercial with Tony Allen.” During our airport photo and video shoots, Tony was always good sport, upbeat and engaging, and going out of his way to take photos with fans and chat with people who recognized him.
While he may no longer be a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, Tony Allen is undeniably Memphis, and for his work on the court, in the community, and at the airport, he’ll always be a part of First Team MEM.
Meanwhile, we'll keep the grit and grind going to give this city a world-class airport, day in and day out.
Thank you, Tony!
First Team MEM
Want to do something difficult? Challenge Memphis Grizzlies defensive star, Tony Allen to a game of one-on-one. The Airport Authority's Senior Manager of Air Service Research & Development, Will Livsey found that out. He may be the best at finding new air service for Memphis -- including three new airlines and more than 17 new destinations over the past year; but he is not the best at playing basketball.
In this spot, Tony Allen and Memphis International Airport teamed up to bring you the story of the airport's comeback plan.