294. Golden State Design Warriors.
May 23, 2010 at 01:21PM

Now, this is an interesting way to introduce a new identity. The NBA's Golden State Warriors are launching their new look using a bit of fan participation and social media elements. More details were reported last week via Sports Business Daily, "The Warriors today will begin a multi-pronged digital effort to highlight their forthcoming new logos, color scheme, website and uniforms. The team has created a social media Easter Egg hunt where fans will be invited to find clues and engage with the club's outposts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, with puzzle piece clues combining to show the new primary logo. Fans participating in the contest will get a chance to win '10-11 season tickets and other prizes."

On ESPN, Kyle Spencer (Executive Director of Marketing for the Warriors) has this to say about the approach: "We decided to flip the traditional logo unveiling on its head... We're taking advantage of our fans' enthusiasm for finding our logo by making an Easter egg hunt game out of it, utilizing social networks and platforms." The contest—called Warriors Draft Challenge because it precedes the NBA Draft—runs from May 20th through May 31st and features a new challenge questions for nine of the days. The questions will be asked through the facebook, twitter, YouTube and flickr accounts of the Warriors. If you answer the challenge correctly 1/9th of the new logo is shown, and the entire look is revealed with all nine correct answers. What's nice about this approach from a marketing perspective is that this can expose current fans to new sources of team content that may be underutilized.

Let's take a look at the Warriors' design history.

The standout in this group of past looks has to be The CITY combination mark of 1962 through 1971 when the team was in San Francisco. I'm not sure it's the best designed but it has aged pretty well and is one of the favorite retro looks in the game. On the official site, former guard Al Attles talked about The City uniforms: "It had the bridge on the front with the words The City and a cable car on the back... Imagine, we’re in New York, people from New York consider it the Big Apple, The City...I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but nobody wanted to be the first to take the jacket off. Finally, we take the jackets off and I’ll be darned if we don’t get a standing ovation from the New York crowd." Gradually the organization has moved away from the native aspect of the name, making it less specific almost to a fault. Who knows what the current warrior is really supposed to be, but it reminds me of the Akzo Nobel guy.

The Current Warrior:

The CITY retro Jersey used a few years ago:

The Weezer-esque flying W mark that is also being replaced.

I imagine that the new direction will keep with the movement away from any Native American references given growing sensitivities to such things. And I would be surprised if they went near The CITY look again, as that came from neighboring San Francisco and the team is more identified with Oakland these days. It will be interesting to see where the team goes with this project. No word yet if the identity work is being done in-house, but the marketing effort behind it largely is. My hope is that the resulting design is as interesting as the process of unwrapping it. (Be warned. Seeing copperplate on the contest page isn't a good sign.)

Go ahead and sign up to play. I'll be playing the role of spoiler far below as an update.

Screen Grab of Contest:

Update on May 23, 2010 at 03:14PM by Registered Commenterjj

SPOILER ALERT >>> The questions so far are not that difficult to answer, which is a bit of a bummer. I was hoping for more of a challenge. However since the point of graphicology is to discuss communication design and not NBA trivia, I'll answer them as they go live and post the resulting tiles. I'll leave it to you to piece them together for now.





May 31st. Well here's the final identity for the Golden State Warriors and I'm speechless. I really don't know what to say about this at all. It's the bay bridge with copperplate set in a circle. I just don't get it at all.





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