When Regan joined the Thunder a couple of years ago, she had three goals, she told me. Two had to do with the team’s long-term performance. But the third one was to get Hanson to sing the National Anthem at a Thunder game.
On Saturday, one of Regan’s goals was realized – and, of all things, it had a lot to do with Twitter.
I found Regan standing outside of the OKC Arena on Saturday, waiting with butterflies in her stomach to meet the Oklahoma brothers whose music she’d been following since she was a child. Regan, a native Oklahoman herself, latched on to Hanson’s music when they hit it big and never ceased to be a fan.
She told her father when she was hired into the Thunder’s business development team that she was going to get Hanson to open a Thunder game. Eventually.
She’s been working on it ever since. If Regan went to a Hanson show, she’d try to mention it to one of the brothers. If Regan ran into their manager somewhere, she’d hand over her card. If she had a chance to say it, she said it. Some of her friends started thinking of it as an inside joke.
Thursday night, Regan was watching Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on TV, when her determination came to a head. She decided she was going to get on Twitter and send messages to the band’s account until she wore herself out or they responded.
The Hanson brothers tell the story from their perspective in this video interview they did with us on Saturday evening. According to them, they saw Regan’s tweet and thought it would be a great idea – if they could fit it into their schedule. In just a few days, they’re headed to London for a five-night, five-show, sold-out tour, and they’re deep into rehearsals to prepare.
But once Regan got their response on Twitter, there were no more caveats. She was going to make this happen – and Tyler, in our events and entertainment department, was more than happy to help.
It took all day Friday, but by the end of the day, we had Hanson confirmed to sing the National Anthem for Saturday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Traffic snafus had Regan waiting on the brothers to arrive for about an hour, getting more nervous by the minute. Once they arrived, though, she was utterly unruffled, guiding them into the building, getting them through security and showing them and their families through the arena. We pulled aside minutes before they were scheduled to sing and took a quick photo – a photo Regan had been waiting to have for a long, long time.
The brothers did an outstanding job at singing the National Anthem; watch the video here. (On the version I recorded that night, it’s a lot tougher to hear their great voices above the crowd’s screams.) And I haven’t seen her yet today, but I’d imagine Regan is still on cloud nine.
- Karina Henderson