HBO sets Times Square event to help market show

HBO is building hype for its new season of “Hard Knocks” the way high school teams nationwide do: with an old-fashioned pep rally.

On Aug. 10, Times Square will host a kickoff rally featuring former New York Jets players and interactive events for fans. The Jets and HBO will also be giving away tickets to upcoming Jets games.

“The Jets organization, from (owner) Woody Johnson to the coaching staff to the players, have been incredibly accommodating and have been very generous with their time,” says HBO Sports senior veep Mark Taffet.

One thing missing: Head coach Rex Ryan and the current Jets team. They can’t take time off from their busy training camp sked, but will make an appearance via satellite.

But what about fans of New York’s other team, the Giants, who may find themselves in Times Square on rally day?

Taffet says HBO isn’t worried about any rivalries at the rally. “We believe (the show) is an experience that translates across all football fans.”

Indeed, the doc series has featured different NFL teams since its bow in 2001.

But while that league spirit is nice, most Giants fans would probably rather bash the Jets than try to win game tix.

“Hard Knocks” preems Aug. 11 on HBO.

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