Established in 1996 when the NBA Board of Governors approved the concept of a women’s National Basketball Association, the WNBA began play in the summer of 1997 with eight teams and a few well-known stars at the time, like Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie. Four expansion teams have been added since and although attendance peaked in 1999 — with an average of 10,000 attendees per game — and dropping since, the WNBA is still considered the “most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world.” Last Thursday, the WNBA introduced a new logo and identity designed by New York, NY-based OCD | The Original Champions of Design. For a brief video of Laurel J. Richie, WNBA President (and 2010 Brand New Awards judge!), explaining the logo click here.
Established in 2008 in White Plains, NY, the New York Blaze Athletic Club is a nonprofit organization that offers kids aged 7 to 18 programs in basketball, homework assistance, and life skills. Its main focus is to get kids into college, ideally through a basketball scholarship. A new identity was released earlier this year, designed by Bialystok, Poland-based Kamil Doliwa — the Blaze’s CEO, Torey Thomas has played in the Polish Basketball League (which explains how a Polish designer designed a logo for an org in White Plains, NY). This is typically not something we would cover on Brand New, since it’s small and it’s far from perfect but, for some reason, it gives me the warm and fuzzies and I felt like it was something worth covering.
Founded in 1931, the Melbourne Tigers are Australia’s oldest and one of the most respected teams in the National Basketball League. They have won four championships, most recently in 2008. No design credit given and no press release issued, which isn’t needed really: we don’t need anyone to let us know how much this sucks.
Established in 1959, the Turkish Basketball Federation is the governing body of basketball in Turkey. Earlier this month TBF introduced a new identity designed by Wakefiled, UK-based Our Agency. Story here. Full brand manual here.
Established in 1974 as the Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America, USA Basketball — renamed as such in 1989 when FIBA modified its rules to allow professional basketball players to participate in international competitions — is a non-profit organization that acts as the governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the U.S., responsible for selecting and training the teams that participate in events like the Olympics and FIBA World Championships. This week USA Basketball introduced a new logo that replaces the current version, in use since 1989 and made world famous by the original Dream Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Currently the closest — and by closest I mean pretty not very close but it will do — thing the NBA has to a Michael Jordan-level global superstar is LeBron James of the Miami Heat, formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He can dunk, he can block, he can pass, he can piss off an entire audience through megalomaniac ESPN specials, and, perhaps he can win a championship. But not yet. In the meantime, the only crowning he’ll have is by his own “King James” nickname, which serves as the basis for the logo of his Nike line of shoes and apparel. Designed by Nike Brand Design, the logo officially debuted this past October although it was leaked as far back as November 2010.
Airing on ESPN, in one form or another, since its introduction in 1979, ESPN College Basketball is exactly what the name implies, growing ever more comprehensive and ambitious over the years. Troika, who also redesigned ESPN College Football, have designed a new logo and on-air package for ESPN around the them of Mayhem. Detail view of the logo and animation package below (or after the jump). A little more story here.
Known as the Washington Wizards since 1997, this Eastern Conference NBA team goes back to 1961 when it was known as the Chicago Packers, moving to Baltimore in 1963 and changing its name to the Bullets (I guess they never saw The Wire coming), then moving to Washington in 1974. As the Bullets the team won the championship in 1978 and as the Wizards they are best known for hosting Michael Jordan’s twenty-third un-retirement. Yesterday, the Wizards unveiled new uniforms and secondary logos that hark back to their look of decades past. The uniforms and marks have been designed in collaboration with their apparel provider, adidas.
This is one of those occasions where — and let me show my cards early here — the rebranding effort is so poor it is hard to know where to begin. For those that may not follow the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Golden State Warriors have been in California, and more specifically in the Bay area, since moving out here in 1962 from Philadelphia. They were first based out of San Francisco and then moved to Oakland after nine seasons, where they have since resided. The current redesign marks the first rebranding effort by the team since 1997. Apparently, the sale of Warriors merchandise as part of the NBA marketing initiative Hardwood Classics was so popular that the Warriors franchise could not overlook the opportunity to try and recreate some of the magic nostalgia that was selling so well.