• Memphis airport announces local basketball legend as newest spokesperson

    By: Siobhan Riley


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - U of M basketball coach Penny Hardaway is the new spokesperson for Memphis International Airport.

    FOX13 asked Hardaway if he thought about the impact this will have on recruits flying into this airport.

    “I never thought of it on that level though, which is going to be pretty sweet,” Hardaway said.

    The basketball legend says the newest announcement is a dream come true.

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    “I’m sure that we’ll get together and talk about ideas, but just being a part of it first and being able to brainstorm on some things that we can do together, moving forward this is going to be great,” he said.

    Hardaway will be featured in public service announcements and marketing, including its concourse modernization project.

    That means recruits flying into the airport will see Hardaway’s face on just about everything when they step off the airplane.

    “I don’t think of it that way because the airport has just been so good to our city and it was just a great partnership and it was hands down the easiest decision that I’ve made to be a partnership with the Memphis airport,” Hardaway said.

    Scott Brockman, the airport’s CEO said there is nowhere to go but up from here. FOX13 found out that in the past five years, the airport has seen an increase in passengers since Delta ended its hub operation here.

    Brockman said the airport is seeing a 4 percent increase in passengers and the airlines are adding additional seats and services, he said Hardaway’s announcement is going to make a tremendous impact on the city’s local economy.

    “Penny’s an exciting name to have associated. To say, ‘Wow, he’s partnering with us, that’s important, he must see us as something,’” Brockman said.

    Hardaway hopes his announcement inspires his team.

    “When the guys see that hopefully they dream through me and say, ‘Wow, he’s partnering with us, that’s important, he must see us as something,’” Brockman said.

    Hardaway’s agreement to be the face of this airport will continue through June of next year.

    The CEO said the airport is on its way to set record numbers this year for passengers.

    He said the partnerships with community leaders and organization contributes to that.

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