Brooklyn Nets’ players are as large and recognizable as Brooklyn’s notable landmarks in this rebrand for YES Network’s coverage of its neighborhood NBA team.
The rebrand is part of an effort that started in 2016 and continued last spring with YES’ overall network refresh for its coverage of the New York Yankees. Now that basketball season has started, YES has unveiled its new on-air and online look for the Nets.
“In our previous packages, we had very distinct looks across the broadcasts. We thought it would be ideal to give the network a single look across the entire network, so we are expanding this broader branding across the network, all of our shows and our digital and social-media platforms,” said Rick Deutschman, senior director, creative design, YES Network.
YES partnered with Southern California-based Drive Studio to create the motion graphics, including idents, lower thirds, informational sports graphics, opens, wipes, bumpers and so forth. Drive Studio has worked across the industry but has collaborated a great deal with sports partners in recent years, including Fox Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Sports and Turner Sports, said Marco Bacich, co-founder, technical director, Drive Studio.
In the case of this rebrand, Drive worked closely with YES and the Nets to make sure the focus stays on the players and on the city in which they play.
“Our direction was tied in with celebrating the players, bringing in the community and tying into Brooklyn landmarks,” Bacich said.
The campaign also was intended to reflect the Nets’ homegrown style of play, known as “Brooklyn Grit.”
“They are tough and aggressive and have a very determined style,” said Bacich.
The overall look is created in the team’s colors of black and white with some occasional grey. Textures tend to be rough and industrial and carry over somewhat from the Yankees’ earlier rebrand. The Nets’ logo plays a predominant role, showing up—with its players—all over town.
Incorporating players into the graphics makes things a little more complicated, because the assets are always having to be updated and rotated depending on who is playing that night.
“In the past, YES didn’t necessarily have players incorporated into their opens, but that’s something they will now have to do with this package,” says Bacich. “That ongoing functionality was a key parameter for us in redesigning it. We wanted to make it easy for their internal team.”
The new look and feel won’t just appear on the network, but also across its social-media platforms, whether during live coverage of games or in downtime posts.
“One of the things we stress internally is that we are a multimedia company as opposed to being a TV network with a digital arm,” says Kevin Sullivan, director of digital media, YES Network. “The creative team was really the one driving this but Rick was great about creating graphics that look great not just on linear but on digital.”
“These new assets amplifies our social media in terms of our look and feel,” says Sullivan. “They update our look and keep us consistent on linear.”