American sports leagues are always on the lookout for ways to stand out from their competitors and to try and embody the values they consistently pump out in press releases and media memos.

One of the best ways to do this is to have a brand logo that is capable both of connecting with diehard fans of the sport but also new followers who perhaps want to further their initial interest.

In other areas away from brand design, the NBA has been at the forefront of this, pushing their product online to new markets such as Asia and the Far East. Now the time has come for them to be as forward thinking in their brand logo design approach. But everything is not quite going to plan.

The NBA brand logo has served the league well, but there are many fans of the sport who are ready to see it change

Why is Change Needed?

The first reason that change is needed is because it is not representative of the league as it looks today, with the figure on the logo known to be former player Jerry West, who himself has said he would like to see the logo changed.

The second reason is that many fans want to see a modern-day hero honored on the logo, with Kobe Bryant being the name most bandied about by those who feel strongly about the issue.

After all, it was Bryant who helped drag the NBA from the past to the present, so that sports bettors and tipsters continued to talk about the sport of basketball every bit as much as they do American football or baseball.

West himself was a Laker back in the day, so maybe someone who features in today’s NBA picks and odds lines could be used, with King James being an obvious candidate.

Franchises regularly change their logos to suit changes in ownership or team philosophy, but their league has been reticent to do the same

Recognizing the Original Design’s Inspiration

Part of the league’s reluctance to deliver this for NBA fans is because they worry about the brand becoming too connected to one individual.

This is also the main reason why the NBA as an organization still refuses to say that it is Jerry West’s likeness on their current logo, which has always been an incredibly galling and disrespectful approach to take with such a legend of the game.

Possible Future Options

So, what are some of the options on the table, aside from some sort of outline of Bryant or James?

Well, certainly the NBA can take some tips from brand designers who have taken it upon themselves to redesign NBA franchise logos.

Among these revered designers is Utah-based Addison Foote, who has managed to create the perfect blend of history and a vision for the future in each of his logos. The NBA would do well to follow his lead.

Foote now actually works for the NBA, so hitting him up for a logo design should not be too hard to do.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.