Context

A diverse sport in need of transformation.

Basketball is the second most popular team sport for children aged 11 to 15. Forming part of the sports curriculum in most mainstream schools and requiring little in the way of equipment, basketball is an inclusive sport – easy to play, accessible and diverse, yet it falls significantly out of sight when it comes to Government funding.

British Basketball is the organising body for the sport in Britain for national team players from 16 years old through to seniors. With a new Board in place, efforts to attract government funding and commercial sponsorship are being increased. A brand transformation was needed to help the organisation stand out in this competitive field. As one of the leading agencies for sports brands, British Basketball approached Mr B & Friends to see if we could help.

Create

Ideas taking flight, in the home of flight.

It all started with a brave idea, and thankfully an even braver client. In the very early stages it was clear we needed to do much more than create a new identity, we needed to create a groundswell of support and assets to gain funding. Basketball is all about the kinetic energy created by the bounce of the ball. We decided to reflect the impact and reach of basketball with a pop-up street art and film event. Taking place in the massive Brabazon aircraft hangar, film and photography was used to capture the GB players in action. Basketballs were freshly painted in the colours of the Union flag by Art Director Rob Lewis and thrown repeatedly against a wall to create a series of splatter effects for the identity. Emblazoned with the line ‘Make your mark’ the resulting effect is an authentic, human-made brand that challenges and inspires people to get involved with the sport.

gb-basketball-player

Collaborating to great effect.

The imprints from the day were then digitised and paired with bold colours and type reminiscent of the names on players shirts. Print textures from the day were used as background graphics throughout the visual style as well as the creation of a bespoke dimpled effect typeface.

Mr B & Friends partnered with Phil James of photography and motion studio Shadowplay. Together they created behind scenes footage and a suite of player portraits and hero CGI imagery in keeping with the new brand. One-off GB branded balls were also used on the shoot made by Bristol based graffiti artist Silent Hobo.

Brand in action.

The dynamic new brand can be adapted to work across a huge range of assets, from posters and advertising to clothing, merchandise and digital executions. We also have started to consider how training and playing kit would work.

"As a creative business, we thrive when clients are open to brave ideas and collaboration. This is a complete first for us, creating an experimental identity of this scale ‘live’ on the day, but the hard work has paid off. I’d like to say a huge thanks to all the team involved."

Steve Richardson
Executive Creative Director
Mr B & Friends

Art gallery launch event.

This new brand was revealed at an art gallery style event at Mr B & Friends studio. The actual prints from the day were on display, numbered and signed by the CEO Lisa Wainwright to mark the day the new brand was created. These were then given to the invited guests and players.

"We are delighted with the new brand for GB Basketball. The energy and impact chimes with our new vision and will help propel us to success as we target additional funding for the team going forward. We look forward to rolling this new brand identity out across all our assets in time, from team uniforms to website and digital."

Lisa Wainwright
CEO, GB Basketball

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