Those are serious questions, prompted by today's news that the Detroit Pistons have entered into, no kidding, a "comedy partnership" with Funny or Die. Per a joint release:
The premiere comedy website has embedded a dedicated creative team within the Pistons marketing department to create funny, unexpected and engaging content for the entire 2015-16 NBA season. ... Funny Or Die Executive Producer Betsy Koch is leading the creative team in Detroit, which includes Head Writer CJ Toledano, a former staff writer for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Harlan Hendrickson, Pistons' VP of Marketing, is running point with the Detroit-based FOD team.
A video titled "The Longest Oop" (below), the first official fruit of the Pistons-FOD partnership, debuted at yesterday's home opener at The Palace in surburban Detroit. It shows "an alley-oop so massive it takes 20 days and 20 people" -- including assorted Pistons, Eminem, John Oliver and Ken Jeong -- " to complete," and was cobbled together from daily segments released on the Pistons' social media channels.
Executives from both FOD and the Pistons issued earnest statements about why they're doing this ("a creative way to deliver exciting new media content that thrills our fans," according to Harlan Hendrickson; "to tell the players' stories and create a completely unique experience in sports entertainment," according to Betsy Koch), and neither seemed to be joking.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.