Slam dunk! Mr B & Friends scores another top sports rebrand campaign

British Basketball has appointed Bristol marketing agency Mr B & Friends to create its new brand identity as it targets additional funding.

The agency, which relocated to Temple Quay from Bath 10 months ago and now employs 43 people, has a strong track record in sports branding, including working with Bath Rugby’s Junior Member Club, Bristol Sport, Fulham FC and Hampshire County Cricket Club. 

With a new board in place, British Basketball is now increasing its efforts to attract government funding and commercial sponsorship. A vibrant brand transformation will enable it to stand out in the highly competitive area.

Despite Basketball being the second most popular team sport for children aged 11 to 15 and forming part of the sports curriculum in most mainstream schools, it falls significantly out of sight when it comes to government funding.

The sport is also inclusive, easy to play, accessible, diverse in its participants and requires little in the way of equipment.

British Basketball is the organising body for basketball in Britain and is responsible for national team players from 16 years old through to seniors.

As a member of FIBA, the global organisation responsible for basketball, British Basketball members include players from England, Scotland and Wales.

British Basketball is working with the government to highlight the significant funding shortfall it says is putting at risk its ability to support the national team and therefore placing international competition and Olympic participation in jeopardy.

The organisation also says support for the sport at grassroots level is essential if it is to continue to inspire those who currently play while pointing out that its costs are low compared to many other funded sports.

Alongside the brand identity, Mr B & Friends will be creating visual guidelines and web templates. Executive creative director Steve Richardson will team up with Phil James of Cheltenham-based photography and film editing studio Shadowplay, who will create a wide range of photographic and moving image brand assets to support the relaunch. 

Mr B & Friends CEO and founder Simon Barbato said: “Both Mr B & Friends and Shadowplay have decided to donate our time to this important project as we firmly believe that this dynamic sport deserves a place on the international stage and we’re looking forward to using our experience of creating distinctive brands for ambitious clients to help the team gain a new voice.”

British Basketball CEO Lisa Wainwright added: “We’re on the edge of a significant push to gain recognition for a sport that reaches many children, often in deprived areas, who can benefit from taking part in team sports and being inspired by British Basketball elite athletes. We’re confident that Mr B & Friends will be able to deliver a brand that reinforces the step-change in the organisation and helps us to secure a successful, sustainable future for basketball at a national level.”

Mr B & Friends has won a series of new local and national clients since moving to Bristol last year. Last month it unveiled a new identity for the city’s historic St George’s music and spoken word venue.

The rebrand is being rolled out as St George’s new season gets under way and ahead of its relaunch as a creative space for music and ideas.  


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