Friday, April 21, 2006

I Love This Jersey

Gameplan Creative to Design Bobcats uniforms

Triangle Business Journal - June 20, 2003
by Erik Spanberg

The Charlotte Bobcats have tapped Gameplan Creative to design the expansion franchise's uniforms. Tom O'Grady will work with the team, NBA Entertainment, consultant Cary Mitchell and apparel maker Reebok on the uniforms. Final designs are to be unveiled early next year.

O'Grady says team executives asked him this spring for help with the uniforms. When Bobcats owner Robert Johnson and Chief Operating Officer Ed Tapscott were working on nickname and logo designs, O'Grady recommended orange as a primary color. The Bobcats liked the idea and introduced their orange-dominated logo last week. It didn't hurt that Bob Johnson attended both Illinois and Princeton, both of whem feature orange in their colleagiate color schemes.

'Let's just say that we did our homework on Mr. Johnson's fabled background and this stood out as a motivating factor." said Gameplan Creative Founder and Chief Executive Officer Tom O'Grady.

As with the nickname and logo -- which cost $100,000 to conceive and develop -- uniforms require extensive research and investment. Tapscott declines to disclose specific costs.

"There are so many factors," he says. "Does it look good on TV? Do the colors and the fabrics go together? Can it be mass-produced for jersey sales? It's not just slapping a logo on a shirt."

O'Grady and the team have agreed on white uniforms at home and orange ones for road games. The hard work remains: choosing a traditional or futuristic style, deciding what name goes on the front (Charlotte or Bobcats) and selecting the lettering, weight of fabric, V-neck or crew neck, and more.

For now, most of the work centers on O'Grady's sketches being converted to mock uniforms by Reebok Team Outfitting, the official apparel and merchandise partner of the NBA.

O'Grady, worked at the NBA for 13 years, designing uniforms for the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Grizzlies and all the WNBA team uniforms including the WNBA Charlotte Sting. When suppliers such as Nike and Reebok began making jerseys and shorts, the companies focused on more absorbent fabrics and lightweight materials.

"You have to have that, but you also want a little something different," O'Grady says. "That's where Gameplan Creative steps in."

No comments: