Using the court as a “flexible frame”, Saatchi & Saatchi offers up an energetic NBA identity
See the results play out in Hoop Cities, a new docuseries from the NBA leveraging sprightly motion design and the visual language of basketball.
- Liz Gorny
- 19 October 2022
Saatchi & Saatchi UK’s latest client is none other than the NBA. In what is Saatchi & Saatchi UK’s first collaboration with the basketball league, the ad agency has produced the identity for Hoop Cities – a new eight part, in-language docuseries exploring “the culture, history and connective power of basketball in Europe”, a release states. To encapsulate the plethora of elements that feed into the game, Saatchi & Saatchi looked to one unifying symbol for inspiration: the court.
“To the basketball communities, the courts are the heart of the city, we wanted to ensure we captured this,” Nathan Crawford, Saatchi & Saatchi executive design director, tells It’s Nice That. The campaign identity is typographically-led; the title Hoop Cities morphs to the shape of a court throughout, as well as adapting to more literal and loose square-shaped forms around players. This focus on typography allowed Saatchi & Saatchi “to create a system that both promoted the title of the docuseries and created a framework. From here we could build out the visual identity to highlight local cultures, locations and heroes.”
Alongside the flexible frame of the court, the campaign sees Saatchi & Saatchi harness lively motion design “to offer creative influence beyond traditional communications” – bringing a fitting sense of dynamic movement to the basketball-based work. According to Nathan, the agency’s more conceptual approach to the brief meant the team “were able to bring storytelling into the design, leading to original meaningful work.”
The new Hoop Cities identity can be seen within the documentary in a title sequence and across social and OOH, for the wider campaign supporting the launch.
Audiences will be able to view Hoop Cities across NBA digital channels until the end of the year (also available on the NBA app). It will explore eight cities in Europe and their relationship to the NBA, “looking at each city’s local cultures, communities and hero players through the lens of basketball”, says the Saatchi & Saatchi release.
GallerySaatchi & Saatchi: NBA, Hoop Cities (Copyright © Saatchi & Saatchi / NBA, 2022)
Saatchi & Saatchi: NBA, Hoop Cities (Copyright © Saatchi & Saatchi / NBA, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.