Nike is developing a global brand marque for its basketball division in conjunction with Made Thought. The division is set to launch at the end of this year. The London multidisciplinary consultancy won the business without a pitch, after Nike Basketball approached it directly to develop the marque and a set of brand guidelines in September.
The consultancy has previously carried out work for Nike in the US. The basketball division is the last within the Nike group to be splintered off as a separate company, which is a key reason for it now needing to create a marque of its own, according to Ben Parker, director at Made Thought.
A key challenge of the project, explains Parker, is that Nike Basketball, unlike other sports categories such as Nike Golf or Nike Tennis, sits between street culture, fashion and performance sport. ‘The marque has to have a young, dynamic street edge, while reflecting a premium and technological status,’ he says. ‘Our task is to develop a single marque that will appeal to both sets of audiences.
Nike Basketball has been around for 25 years, so there is a rich heritage and history that also needs to be communicated,’ Parker adds. Made Thought hints that the logo will be pared back to accommodate the long word form of Nike Basketball. ‘We are developing a marque that has a level of restraint and modesty,’ Parker continues. ‘The Nike swoosh has so much value and emotive baggage, that to have both as fully expressive [logos] would be way too much,’ comments Parker. An undisclosed Swiss type foundry is creating a ‘whole new character set’ to support the logo, as part of the project.