Evolution of NBA team logos

Branding | Opinion

May 17th, 2013

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Ever since Michael Jordan put the American Basketball League well and truly on the global map I have been a massive NBA supporter. Following the NBA closely, I would often head to the local deli after school to buy the latest NBA trading card pack! As the years ticked by it was interesting to see teams revamp their logos, which got me thinking about just how many logo changes there have been.

To my amazement, if you exclude recent expansion franchises, there is only 1 team that has not changed its original logo, that being the Chicago Bulls. Even teams with rich history and tradition such as LA Lakers and Boston Celtics have undergone multiple logo changes, some quite significant. You would also think that winning a Championship may establish some tradition with a certain logo and therefore be hard to replace. Well not so in Houston’s case, after they went back to back in 94-95 on the back of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler (two hall of famers) they decided to significantly change the logo the following season!

So do you agree with Chicago’s marketing team by sticking with the traditional Bull known for those glory years with Michael Jordan? Is it a timeless logo? or do you think its looking a bit shabby and needs to be modernized? I must admit that it definitely holds its own with the majority of earlier team logos however it is probably time for a refresh.

So why do teams change their logos? Well there are a number of reasons…

– Change of name
– Refresh brand
– Appeal to a new audience
– Take advantage of modern technology
– Marketing opportunities

Funnily enough, every reason above could also be applied to any business in the real world so sporting franchises really are “just another business”.

So is it time for your brand to be refreshed?

Check out the History of NBA logos graphic below, there are some real shockers amongst them!

click image to view larger