If you’re a sports fan, then you know the highly anticipated NBA franchise for Brooklyn New York (The Nets from New Jersey) will begin play next season. If your a logo/design fan, then you know this involves a lot of new design work. The Brooklyn Nets are showing the world what is to come of sports/entertainment. With help from partial owner and celebrity hip-hop artist JZ, the Nets are quickly developing a modern look and feel with every aspect of the franchise. The Brooklyn Nets are not just a Basketball team…they are ambassadors for a city, a Borough, and a pioneer for an up and coming age or sports branding, and design.
What the Brooklyn Nets are doing, I have not seen from any other professional sports team. There are few out there who develop their identities, and their brands very well, but nothing like Brooklyn. Brooklyn is branding everything, and they are making it look good. One of the most important aspects of branding is consistency over every medium you have at your fingertips. Social media, official websites, merchandise, and other visual communications gear is just the beginning. The way you write copy or blogs, who you associate with, and of course how you carry yourself. Brooklyn has carefully taken time to research all of these and them some, to create a total brand experience. Heavily driven by design and simplicity, the Brooklyn Nets are starting off on the right foot.
First, we have to understand the personality of Brooklyn, New York. These ideas help shape the entire brand. Brooklyn is located just East of Manhattan, and is the second largest of the five NYC Boroughs. Unlike Manhattan, Brooklyn is viewed as more of a rough, tough, gritty and bold culture. Home to the famous neighborhood Coney Island, and many others that have rich basketball histories, Brooklyn has deep roots in the street ball world with thousands of kids being raised by this culture. At times Brooklyn has gotten a bad rep because of locals talking too highly of it (some call is the “Better Borough”). Below is an excerpt from a spoken word piece by Brooklyn Native and BrooklynNets.com beat writer Ben Couch.
I like to sport attitudes like
I’m better than you
because I’m from Brooklyn
… and that’s just how we do.
In the past 30 or 40 years Brooklyn has always found its way in the spotlight thanks to pop culture references from various hip-hop artists, and film makers. Some of the more famous ones of course are Spike Lee’s “Joints”, and hi-hop artist JZ, Kanye West and a slew of others. Brooklyn locals show a great deal of pride for who they are, and where they come from. It truly is a great place.
Now that we have some foundation, lets move on and take a look at the new Brooklyn Nets
It doesn’t get much simpler than this does it? That’s why I love it so much. The color scheme, the typography and the iconic shapes and emblems are all perfect. Cliche I know, but less is more, and this is a perfect example. Flashy and big graphics are a thing of the past, and clean cut design is what works today. The iconic circle and shield shapes with the simple “B”, give people a symbol to hold high and proud. It’s a symbol the people of Brooklyn can rally around. It shows off the essence of Brooklyn with the bold black and white coloring that says “we are not here to mess around”. Straight and to the point, these designs work for Brooklyn. Props to JZ and his team.
Now that Brooklyn has the beginnings of a brand, they need to translate these into every medium, and they are off to a great start. At first glance you can already see this with the official website of the Brooklyn Nets. It does not look like your average NBA team, and I love it. Again with the typography, coloring, and simplicity the Nets carry this mind set right along to their website, a HUGE part of anyone’s brand today. So many teams in the league go with the boring layout that is the same as everyone else in the league. Just visit any other teams page and you will see for yourself. Brooklyn is taking everything a set further design/branding wise, and I believe it will pay off in the long run.
Brooklyn is not designing a new basketball team, they are designing a new style, tradition, and even a new age of sports/entertainment. Over every medium they have the Brooklyn Nets are displaying their new identity. Facebook, twitter, their online shop, their blogs. Everything touched by the Brooklyn Nets has the same iconic, simple, bold, and gritty feel, and it all looks good. Win or lose Brooklyn is starting a sports/entertainment renaissance, and starting it in black and white.