Many basketball fans around the world wear NBA logos as part of supporting their favorite team. People have used Jerry West's logo, and many don't know why Jerry chose the NBA logo. The answer to this question is very straightforward. Brand identity consultant Alan Siegel decided to select a photo of Jerry west to form the shape of an iconic NBA logo. While Jerry west used to play for Los Angeles Lakers, Wen Roberts captured the picture, and the logo was launched in 1969. These days still, this logo is used on all NBA-branded products.
Before the successful merger of ABA and NBA in 1976, 2 opposing leagues closed in a battle for basketball in the USA. As much as the on the court was vital, both teams knew it was a matter of style and branding. During that time, NBA approached Cornell alums and New Yorker Alan Siegel to assist them in creating a fresh look for the brand that would set them apart from the ABA and stand out from the pack.
In the previous year, he saw the creation of the new Major League Baseball logo. Part of the brief was to use that template to generate a logo that would work with the latest MLB badge. And he didn't let them down. After going through thousands of images of classic basketball games, he could be able to choose a photo by Wen Roberts that he felt that the picture expressed the dynamic nature of the game. That was Jerry West in the image, dribbling with his left hand, powering up the court, and angling his body to defend the ball from his opponent's defender.
After selecting Jerry West's silhouette, they added each side's iconic red and blue. And the NBA decided to take that logo. In 1969 since the beginning of the launching of this logo, it had become identical to basketball and could generate billions of dollars in licensing revenue worldwide. You can see it stitched on every Nike Swingman, Ness authentic, Mitchel, and other classical jerseys. NBA can sell team-branded caps, mugs, coats, and other products under their global brand.
Why was Jerry West considered for the logo?
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Still, the NBA refuses to admit formally that the logo was made based on Jerry West's image. It's not like showing negativity towards Jerry. Jerry was a legendary player and still represents an exemplary ambassador for NBA. Jerry had many achievements in his pocket before finishing his outstanding career in 1974, like - 14 All-star appearances, 9 Finals appearances, and one NBA Championship in 1972. He was successful in his coaching career and as a member of various front-office teams. The reason behind many people (including designer Alan Siegel) believes that the NBA will never acknowledge Jerry's image in the logo because the logo also represents all the NBA players themselves. If they officially recognize it as one man, it will lessen its universal nature and change the perception of how it has been viewed.
The more skeptical among us believe that it is more to do with money than any other belief that confirms something that everyone already thinks will negatively impact the status of the logo and spread conflict to the NBA. Jerry didn't receive any money or financial benefits from the NBA, as the shape of his image has been used as the single most distinguishable part of their business. Many people would think that, if they acknowledged that, Jerry would have claimed compensation. Despite the success, Jerry played at different times, and he was one of the legends that flagged the way for the present-time NBA all-stars with their 100-million-dollar agreement and clothing deals.
From Jerry's point of view, he has not been so comfortable with the acknowledgment of his status that the NBA logo bought to him. Jerry chose to let his glorious achievement that represents his legacy. Jerry was welcomed into the hall of fame in 1980. In 1996 he voted for the top 50 basketball players of all time. So, it is clear that he has more value than his most famous nickname, The Logo. In April 2017, Jerry himself expressed frustration on ESPN's "The Jump." During that time, he claimed that he never wanted it to become public that he was in the logo. He explained that, in many ways, he wanted NBA could change the logo entirely. But for now, this something will not be likely to happen soon.
Who else was considered for the logo?
Alan Siegel, the designer of the logo, publicly stated that Jerry West inspired this NBA logo. Alan considered images of all-time greats during the processes, like - Kareem Abdul Jabber, Wilt Chamberlain, John Havlicek, etc. Alan loved the stylish posture that Jerry had in the photo. Considering his position as the only person to win the NBA finals while playing on the losing team and many All-star appearances, he decided that Jerry West was the one he should select for the NBA logo.
Alan didn't mention that Jerry West was in the image when he presented it to the NBA authority. He didn't show his workings while supplying the photo, which greatly inspired him. The exciting thing is that, at the same time, he never denied that it was Jerry West in the image. Many believe that the grey area allowed the NBA to refute that the logo was created based on Jerry's idea. Only time can tell if the NBA will ever recognize it or not. However, after all the decades, presumably, their standpoint might not change.
You can can also read : Top 16 WNBA Players All Time
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