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History of the NBA Logo

Bookmark No. of hits: 1884

I love all Aussie Sports, however I have an undeniable passion for American basketball. Specifically the NBA. Ever wondered how the iconic NBA logo ever came about? After all this simple little logo generates close to $3 billion in global revenue each year in official licensed products and I am sure a whole lot more when you consider other avenues of revenue from T.V through to unauthourised products.

nba logo

NBA Imitated the MBL (Baseball Logo)

Back in 1969 there were two dominant leagues for basketball in America. The NBA and the ABA (American Basketball Association). The Commissioner of the NBA decided that some radical marketing was needed. Using baseball as inspiration Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy used the iconic baseball silhouette against a red and blue background of the Major Baseball as a drawing board for the NBA logo.

Aligning the NBA Brand

By creating a visual feel of the NBA logo, Commissioner Kennedy was effectively aligning themselves with the established baseball league and in the process brand the NBA as the "main show," whilst the ABA competitor was simply a sideshow (albeit a fun high energy side show)

Birth of a Logo

The designer and marketing specialist by the name of Alan Siegel was tasked with the responsibility of creating a logo. After going through photo after photo, Alan was mesmerised by a photo of a basketball star by the name of Jerry West. This was the photo.

jerry west

Do you recognize it? It is the original action shot which is now the official NBA logo. Back then the abbreviation NBA (It stands for National Basketball Association) did not exist, but Alan created this abbreviation and in the process captured the imagination of basketball fans worldwide.

Over the years though, who that person was on the logo was never told to anyone, and questions about the origins of the logo left unanswered. There were many speculations of course and it was only until 2010 when Jerry West released a biography officially introducing himself as being "The Logo," did that fact become officially on record.

Custom Logo Branding

Today this logo is one of the most valuable in all of sports. Other than the high stakes dollar value of Television rights, this logo has an extremely high value when used in merchandising. Everything from:

- Branded Jerseys | Branded Basketballs | Branded Tee Shirts | Branded Hoodies | Branded Toys and a million other products, benefit from having this simple 3 colour logo emblazoned onto it. The moment this little logo goes onto a product, is the moment the product becomes something that has both credibility and value to a customer. Quite amazing when you think about it.


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