The Golden State Warriors have got game in the branding world, too.
The NBA champions recently hired San Francisco agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners to whip up some cool branding work for the 2016 playoffs—centered around a hand-painted "Strength in Numbers" logo and a flexible visual system that uses tally marks to play around with all sorts of data involving the team and its fans.
GS&P, which is perfect for this kind of work—given its well-known design chops, and its years of working for the NBA itself—took the team's existing slogan, "Strength in Numbers," and built a new logo for it. The "M" in "Numbers" is signified by a tally mark for the number 5—a reference to the Warriors seeking their fifth NBA title this spring.
The logo is appearing on everything from T-shirts to billboards, and the tally marks are being used in ads to celebrate lots of different Warriors numbers—like their record 73 regular-season wins this year, Stephen Curry's 402 three-pointers, the 120-decibel noise level in Oracle Arena (the loudest in the NBA) and more.
The campaign also includes interactive social-media elements, as well as commercials, including the two below—one celebrating Curry's second straight MVP award, and another about the 73 wins.
GS&P creatives Kurt Mills and Kyle Lamb came up with the initial logo idea.
"It started purely as a logo design exploration. But we wanted to give it a little bit more meaning, and a little bit more legs," GS&P creative director David Suarez tells Adweek. "It turned into this visual system with the tally marks that are in the logo. It was this custom, hand-done thing we did here in-house. We took the tally marks and turned it into a little campaign, from just a logo design."
"There are all these numbers, from the fans to the staff to the players," adds creative director Danny Gonzalez. "Everyone is tallying up these stats, so to speak, and this is kind of a way of unifying everybody."
The tally mark symbol nicely and subtly ties back into the existing Warriors logo, too. The crossing mark in the symbol is a bit curved, which is reminiscent of the Bay Bridge in the Warriors logo.
"It's fun to do a logo that's not 100 percent computer generated," says Suarez. "We went to an art store, got some paint and did it in-house—with some help from the computer, but mostly it was hand-done. We wanted it to feel not too clean. We wanted something people would actually buy and wear on their clothes. A lot of teams out there have stuff that feels a little schwag-y. We wanted to get away from that, and do something that was a little more ownable and authentic to the team and the attitude and the community."
Over at this website, Warriors fans can also generate their own "Strength in Numbers" images by uploading pics and adding tally marks to them.
"People have embraced it pretty quickly, which is awesome," Gonzalez says of the campaign. "With some of these community-facing things, you're not always sure how people are going to react right away, but both the team and the fans have loved it."
It's also fun, of course, for the GS&P creatives to be working on something that is so high-profile and beloved in the community.
"They're on TV a lot here, so if it was an ugly logo, we'd be staring at it all the time," Gonzalez says. Adds Suarez: "Of all the ads I've done over the years—global spots and whatnot—I think I've gotten the most comments from my father-in-law about this one."
More images below.
Client: Golden State Warriors
Work: "Strength in Numbers, 2016 Playoffs"
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
CEO: Rick Welts
Chief Marketing Officer: Chip Bowers
VP of Marketing and Digital: Kenny Lauer
VP of Public Relations: Raymond Ridder
Senior Marketing Director: Amanda Chin
Team Marketing Director: Caleb Homeres
Project Specialist: Fernan Joco
Co-Chairman: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein
Executive Creative Director: Margaret Johnson
Creative Directors: David Suarez and Danny Gonzalez
Creatives: Kyle Lamb, Andrew Livingston, Kurt Mills, Charles Lee, Louis Xinran Li
Content Creative: Quinn Gravier
Design Director: Chris Peel
Director of Broadcast Production: Tod Puckett
Senior Print Producer and Art Buyer: Noah Dasho
Printer Producer and Art Buyer: Joni Wittrup
Director of Experiential, Music Supervisor: Todd Porter
Postproduction: E Level Films
Director of E Level: PJ Koll
Post Producer: Alison Plansky, Luke Dillon
Motion Graphics Creative Director: Mike Landry
Motion Graphics Artists: Ratha Nou, Karim Fawzy, Alex Cummings, Jason Jobe, Chad Ford, Anthony Enos
Senior Audio Engineer: Dave Baker
Audio Engineer: Nicholas DeMatteo
Account Director: Jason Bedecarre
Account Manager: Molly Navalinski
Assistant Account Manager: Angela Trinh