Many basketball fans around the world wear NBA logos as part of supporting their favorite team. People have been used Jerry West’s logo, and many of them don’t know the fact that why Jerry has chosen for 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 launched in 1969. These days still, this logo is used on all NBA branded products.
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The full story, NBA Logo and Jerry West
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Before the successful merger of ABA and NBA in 1976, 2 opposing leagues closed in a battle for the soul of basketball in the USA. As much as the on the court was vital, both teams knew that it was also a matter of style and branding. During that time NBA approached Cornell alumni 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 that would 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 together with the latest MLB badge. And he didn’t let them down. After going through thousands of images of classic basketball games, he could 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 photo, dribbling with his left hand, powering up the court and angling his body to defense the ball from his opponent defender. After selecting Jerry West’s silhouette, they added the iconic red and blue to each side. And the NBA decided to take that logo. In 1969 since the beginning of the launching of this logo, it had become identical with basketball and could able to generate billions of dollars in licensing revenue around the world. You can see it stitched on every Nike Swingman, Ness authentic, Mitchel, and also all 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?
Still, the NBA refuses to admit formally that the logo has made based on Jerry West’s image. It’s not like to show negativity towards Jerry. Jerry was a legendary player and still represent as exemplary ambassador for NBA. Jerry had many achievements in his pocket before finishing his eminent career in 1974, like – 14 All-star appearances, 9 Finals appearances and one NBA Championship in 1972. He was successful in both his coaching career and also 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 itself. If they officially recognize it as one man, then 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 believes that confirms something that what every people already think will create a negative impact on the status of the logo and spread conflict to the NBA. Jerry didn’t receive any money or get any financial benefits from the NBA as the shape of his image has used as a single most distinguishable part of their business. Many people would think that, if they acknowledged that, then Jerry would have claimed compensation for that. 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 inducted into the hall of fame in 1980 and in 1996 he voted for top 50 basketball players of all time. So it is clear that has more value than his most famous nickname, The Logo. In April 2017, Jerry himself expressed his 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 that 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 was the inspiration for this NBA logo. Alan considered images of all-time great during the processes like – Kareem Abdul Jabber, Wilt Chamberlain and 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 whom he should select for the NBA logo.
Alan didn’t mention that it was Jerry West in the image when he presented the image to the NBA authority. He didn’t show his workings while he was supplying the photo that made him inspired a lot. Interesting thing is that at the same time he never denied that it was Jerry West in the image. Many people believe that the grey area is what allowed the NBA to refute that the logo has created based on Jerry’s image. Only time can say 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 our another articles about Top 16 WNBA Players All Time