LA Clippers Rebrand: New Look. Next Era.

Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2015 by

Less than a year after Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, the team is rebranding to move on from their sad, losing past (and former owner) and into a new era.

While professional sports franchises are notorious for updating logos and branding materials, this rebranding effort by the Clippers may be the most relevant and least motivated by money in a long time.

The Los Angeles Clippers have a long history of losing and sitting in the shadows of the mighty LA Lakers. They were also mired in the awful ownership of Donald Sterling who never showed that he cared about the brand community, the players, the front office, or winning a championship. Sterling’s reputation as a man also hindered the Clippers brand. But now the tide is changing. The Clippers have surpassed the Lakers in recent seasons, the departure of Sterling and arrival of Ballmer has opened the door for fans to cheer for the team without reservations tied to ownership, and talented players like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan are in the upper echelon of the NBA.

What better time than now to rebrand?

In an appearance on Conan O’Brien (watch the video below) Ballmer says that he bought the team too late last summer to make changes, “But now we’re introducing the New Clippers”. A rebrand for the 2015-16 season has given Clippers fans a full year to get over Sterling, get excited about the future of the franchise, and embrace a new direction. It has also given advertisers and sponsors a chance to come back onboard after many left the team in 2014.

Read More: Can the Clippers Survive Donald Sterling?

The rebrand includes a 4 new logo and wordmark elements, and while there are comparisons being made to both the EA Sports NBA Live video game and the Chicago Cubs classic logo, it’s hard to argue that they are good moves for the team. The blue and red colours remain. The logo inside of a basketball, while used a lot, is clean, and the wordmarks are both straightforward and easy to read from a distance.

Says Blade designer, Chris Lennox, “Steve Ballmer is a very intelligent man, in his time with Microsoft he made calculated individual decisions that led to a lot of success for that company. I see a lot of similarities here. He’s taking two well established brands (intentional or not) – The Cubs & EA sports and combining them for a logo that is instantly recognizable, yet distinctive in its own right. Being able to dissemble pieces of the logo to use in promotional material and clothing is a brilliant, wise move!”

The Clippers want to move on. They are ready to move on. And when they win an NBA Championship (which is the goal) they want to do so without mention of their past (although that will be impossible). They want to be the New Clippers starting right now, and when the 2015-16 season tips off you can bet that The Staples Center will be decked out in Clippers logos on game nights, and the stands will be full of fans in the new gear.

Does this rebrand make the LA Clippers a better basketball team? No.

Will it result in more jersey and apparel sales in LA and worldwide? Maybe.

Does it give the franchise and the brand community a chance to move on? Yes.

Congratulations to Steve Ballmer and the Clippers on their decision to rebrand now, when the time is right and the reasons are many.

Watch the Clippers video announcing the change, Stevel Ballmer’s appearance on Conan, and a video from featuring Ballmer, Blake Griffin, and other members of the Clippers - and vote in our poll to tell us what you think of the rebrand.

Do You Like the LA Clippers Rebrand?

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Blake Griffin and Steve Ballmer Unveil The New Clippers Logo from Funny Or Die

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Joshua Murray

About Joshua Murray

Fuelled by ideas, opportunity and coffee, Joshua attacks the social media landscape every day with a purpose. His experience in retail, customer service and public relations have combined to give him a 360 degree view of social media for brands and he is committed to helping all of his clients leverage their voice in the social sphere.