Hawks to unveil mammoth Millsap 3-D billboard in April

In April, the Atlanta Hawks will unveil a cutting-edge, 700-pound 3-D billboard of All-Star Paul Millsap along the Georgia highways.

The real Paull Millsap, right, (his 3-D likeness on the left) has the Hawks positioned for another playoff appearance this season.

John Manasso (left)/Rick Osentoski (right) / USA TODAY Sports

An even bigger, badder version of Paul Millsap -- the Atlanta Hawks' All-Star forward -- will soon be hitting the Georgia highways.

Sometime in April, with an Atlanta freeway as the picturesque backdrop, the Hawks will unveil a 20-foot-high (approximate), 700-pound 3-D billboard of Millsap dunking a basketball.

In accordance with the ferocious-jam promotion, I-85 onlookers (driving northbound) will then be prompted to text "**DUNK" from their cell phones -- after parking the vehicle, of course. The mobile-based service will provide information on future Hawks events, particularly playoff tickets (if applicable).

Click here to see the Hawks official video on what went into the making of the billboard

From there, callers/texters will be directed to a wide-ranging contest (bearing Millsap's vocal welcome) that allows for Hawks fans to hang out with Millsap inside the Atlanta locker room (playing video games), partake in a typical Millsap workout with the club's trainer or even attend an NBA Summer League session with Millsap, the eight-year veteran (first season with Atlanta) who has the Hawks on track for another postseason appearance in April.

The Hawks commissioned the Atlanta-based Chisel 3D for the major undertaking, which embodies a steel-and-foam likeness of Millsap, and reportedly took a month to construct, from beginning to end.

"Most of our work is for sales promotion, events, trade shows, theme parks, museums," said Gary Bystrom, owner of 3-D Chisel. "It's all across the board. Sometimes it's figures like that, sometimes it's totally different. We've done a giant brain, we've done anything you can think of. Often times it's large scale, but a billboard piece like this is just fantastic."

Upon viewing the structure, an awed Millsap was originally "speechless" about the project. He then mustered up a few words of appreciation.

"Looking at myself up (high off the ground), I couldn’t imagine it but it looks great."

As for the dunk itself, Millsap joked, "It looks like something I would do." (Note: Millsap didn't pose for the billboard.)

The genesis of the project started with the Hawks dreaming big, according to Peter Sorckoff, senior vice president of marketing:

"It really all started in a boardroom with Bruce Levenson, our owner, and we were talking about campaigns we had run and he said, 'You know what? I want to do something totally different. I want to blow people's doors off. Let's go out and do something really big.'

"So we got with our friends at CSE (Career Sports and Entertainment) and pulled all the troops together and we started putting a variety of ideas down and some great concepts.

Callers and texters will be directed to a contest allowing Hawks fans to participate in a number of activities with forward Paul Millsap.

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Hawks

"We re-presented it to ownership and Paul is having an amazing first season for us. We all had our fingers crossed that he would become an All-Star for us and this year and, obviously, for himself and his teammates.

"We presented the idea and they loved it and then we were like 'OK, how are we actually going to make this happen?' Our friends at CSE found 3-D Chisel for us, which does all kinds of amazing projects like this, and the process just got under way from there."

With approximately 5.5 million people living in metro Atlanta, the Millsap 3-D billboard will spark roughly 660,000 viewings every day.

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