New logos, uniforms, colours, a court design, and yes, even an ad patch. It was a busy day for the Memphis Grizzlies who officially unveiled all of the above at a media event here tonight at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn.
For the logos, developed after “a multi-year creative process”, the changes are relatively minor but still result in an overall improved look. The lightest of the three blues used by the Grizzlies “Smoke Blue” has been eliminated from the palette entirely, replaced with Dark Grey. The elimination of this blue is most visible in the primary logo where it was previously used on the snout of the bear. The new Dark Grey joins the team as an outline added around the grizzly bear’s head.
There’s a new wordmark, the font is similar to what was used last season but the angled edges have been removed from the upper left corner of each letter, it’s also a much more condensed presentation of the city name; the “GRIZZLIES” wordmark is entirely new, no longer arched, and coloured midnight blue to match the city name.
The ball-claw alternate logo (which has been used since day one in 1995) has also received an update, in addition to a similar colour update that the primary logo received the emblem has been rotated to place the claw directly on top of the ball. Why? So the middle three claws can form an “M” for “Memphis. Clever.
When it comes to representing Memphis, the new Grizzlies uniforms don’t miss much. The downtown signage, local economy, airport, a major corporation headquartered there, and even how Memphis appears on a map are all represented. Heck, the Grizzlies were on such a roll with the local shout-outs they also threw in one to their previous home city of Vancouver on there.
The three uniforms unveiled today will stick with the three primary colours the club has used since their last major re-design in 2004, the “association” uniform in white, the “icon” in navy blue, and the “statement” in the lighter Beale Street Blue. The new wordmark appears on all three, displayed straight across the front of the icon and association jerseys, arched on the statement uniform.
A common theme across the three uniforms and even the new court design is that they all contain an asymmetrical look, this is a nod to the physical location of the City of Memphis says the club.
“If you look at Memphis on a map, the river lines one side and the city unfurls from that singular boundary,” said Jason Wexler, Grizzlies President of Business Operations. “In that asymmetry, we find inspiration for all those indigenous off-center creative sparks that distinguish the people and City of Memphis.”
Across the waistband of the shorts worn with the icon and association uniforms is a new “MEM” logo which you may recognize from recently being placed outside the FedExForum in the form of three large shipping containers.
This “MEM” design is both in tribute to the local airport code as well as those aforementioned shipping containers, a nod to the city’s position as one of the leading shipping hubs in the world. This “MEM” logo appears more prominently on the statement uniform where it’s used as a collar trim in style reminiscent of the old Vancouver Grizzlies uniform trim worn during their first three seasons.
An old favourite making a return after taking a break for a few seasons is the inline in the player numbers. As was the case during their first go-round, the inline represents the neon lights on the signs throughout Beale Street in downtown Memphis.
“It’s the asymmetry and the reflection of Memphis as a 4-dimensional city,” Wexler added. “With river, road, rail and runway, the inline of our new wordmark nodding to the neon of Beale Street – all draw from a city that cuts against the grain coalescing into a truly unique NBA identity.”
Speaking of that unique NBA identity, the back of the icon and association uniforms are different, placing player names *below* their numbers. The statement uniform sets the player name in its usual location.
The team also announced they’d be adding an advertiser’s logo to their jersey for the first time in club history, the logo for FexEd will appear in the upper left corner on all team uniforms. The shipping company not only has its headquarters in Memphis but also is the naming rights holder of the Grizzlies home arena, the FedExForum.
“As a hometown organization with thousands of proud Memphis-based team members, FedEx is excited to build on our successful relationship with the Memphis Grizzlies,” said David J. Bronczek, president and COO, FedEx Corp. “Placing the iconic FedEx logo on the players’ jerseys provides another unique way for our brand to reach new audiences around the globe while strengthening our connection to the Grizzlies and the Memphis community.”
Lastly, the new court design for the Grizzlies was unveiled:
It carries on that theme of asymmetrical design in a big way as you can see in the baselines behind the baskets, and while many people had theorized that the “MEM” shipping crates outside the arena were a preview of a new parquet court, that does not appear to be the case. The floorboards don’t run goal to goal like most courts, instead sideline to sideline.
The new jerseys will be available to order in September, the club is encouraging fans to sign up for their e-alerts to be notified when they’re available for sale.
Memphis will debut their new look in the pre-season with a game at Houston against the Rockets on October 2nd, their first game in Memphis with the new uniforms will be played on the 5th. The 2018-2019 NBA regular season schedule has not yet been released.