Tenet Meets Hornets | Adweek Tenet Meets Hornets | Adweek
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Tenet Meets Hornets

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Trumpet breaks television spots this week that star the Hornet's oft-injured mascot to promote Tenet Healthcare's sponsorship of New Orleans' NBA team.

In one spot by the New Orleans agency, Hugo the Hornet flutters around a family picnic until he sees a bug zapper and runs toward it. The spot then cuts to copy: "Tenet—the official healthcare provider of the New Orleans Hornets and their fans." It closes with a frame of the Hornet, bandages around his head, being checked out by a doctor.

"Tenet has taken an aggressive position toward demonstrating the sponsorship," said Trumpet creative director Robbie Vitrano. "The challenge is to create a relevant connection between a corporate sponsor and the sport."

Vitrano said the Hornet's mascot, played by Mike Zurillo, is known for his physical stunts on the court—some of which have landed him in the hospital. Zurillo performed for fans when the franchise was based in Charlotte, N.C.

Three of the four 30-second ads break Wednesday in the New Orleans Arena during the Hornets' opening-night game. All the ads will play on local cable and broadcast channels throughout the NBA season. At least two will be shown in the arena during home games.

Trumpet handles project work for Tenet's Gulf South region. The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based client owns and operates 114 acute-care hospitals in 16 states.

The agency regularly creates marketing programs to promote the hospital network's specialities.