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Rebranding the WNBA Women's National Basketball Association

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The WNBA is about to mark its 17th season as the top professional women’s sports league in the world. The 2013 Draft will usher in an incredible new class of players as well as a new identity system applied across all WNBA assets including team uniforms, broadcast, digital, signage, print materials and a player-focused campaign that declares “I Am Logowoman.” The U.S. boasts some of the best female athletes in the world. If they had competed as their own country in the 2012 Olympic Games, the women would have tied for third in the gold medal count and finished fifth in total medals. Adding to that total, U.S. Women’s Basketball won their fifth straight gold and 41st straight Olympic game. They are breaking every record in the books and have compelling individual stories to boot. OCD worked with the WNBA to create an identity system that puts an amplifier to the league’s players and their remarkable game.

Logowoman The Primary Mark

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Simple Math Brand Equity

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Logowoman is an evolution of the original WNBA shield. The silhouette was redrawn to better symbolize the athleticism and diversity of today’s players. The orange and oatmeal were brought in from the league’s most ownable asset: the WNBA game ball. Referee uniforms and in-house communications had been leveraging the unique palette for some time, but it was never brought to the fans. And, of course, great pride, great power and great opportunity come from being part of the larger NBA family. To reinforce that relationship (and to make nice co-branding moments), the pointed shield was replaced with the rounded rectangular lozenge that has become synonymous with professional basketball worldwide.

Athleticism Photo Un-styling

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Swagger Type Styling

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Fans and partners and players and coaches all talk about a new “swagger” in the league. At 17 years old, it’s maturing into something a bit tougher and more confident. That swagger needed a typographic voice.

What it comes down to is: It’s our job to make the players famous. They focus on the game. And when they focus on the game, they come alive. It’s impossible to take a better picture of a player than when you put a ball in her hands.

Brand Patterns The Game Balls

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Brand Patterns The Business System

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One Logo, Modified Digital Platforms

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League Partners The Bracket System

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One Logo, Modified, Again The Breast Health Awareness Lockup

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Platform Iconography All-Star, Finals, Green, Breast Health and Dads & Daughters

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Team First The Variable Color System

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Title IX converted women to athletes, it did not, however, convert women to sports fans. League fans are made by memorable stars and team loyalties. To better leverage that team-before-league mentality, all league iconography has been turned over to the teams themselves. All brand assets are available for team usage and may be converted to team colors. It’s a more efficient system and allows the WNBA to more directly address each fan where they are.

Credits

Design Partners: Jennifer Kinon, Bobby C. Martin Jr.
Designers: Thomas Porostocky, Alex Boland and Joe Finocchiaro
Photography: Jennifer Pottheiser
Client: WNBA

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