Shaping Individuals Through Basketball
For my BFA project and thesis at the University of Idaho, I had the freedom to create whatever I wanted for the entirety of my graduating year. The only catch was that I had to develop a concept to show in a gallery space at the end of the year. So, I chose a topic I knew I would never get sick of: basketball.
I played a variety of organized (and unorganized) sports from a very young age, but I had an emotional connection to basketball. I was never the biggest kid on the court, nor was I the most productive player statistically. However, I showed up with a sense of determination, gave my full effort, and tried to apply what my coaches taught me.
As I researched and created things around the idea of basketball, I began to realize how sports set me up for success in life. I was looking at the human elements of the game that can relate to anybody, not just professional athletes. I felt as if I had stumbled into a concept that was much bigger than myself, and much bigger than the game of basketball. The dots started connecting themselves it seemed, and I came up with BeBall.
I compiled the human aspects of the game into ten intangible assets: discipline, attitude, effort, development, support, sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, focus, and confidence. All of these intangibles exist within people of all walks of life, not exclusively in sports.
With BeBall, I developed a philosophy and unique branding system that allows coaches to reward players for the intangible assets they bring to their team. These assets are more important than stats and numbers because they can be applied to real-life situations, not just basketball. The competitive nature of sports helps to reveal these characteristics when players are forced to overcome adversity on a personal or team level. The player's reaction to adversity will naturally determine what intangibles they possess, and their strengths will be recognized as well.
Our character serves as the 'foundation' on which we build our life story. The strength and integrity of that 'foundation' will ultimately serve to determine who we grow up to become.
— John Wooden
The program is designed to be marketed to basketball coaches for camps and clinics. The booklet acts as a marketing piece that describes the program and encourages them to sign up for the program. Once a part of the program, there would be other helpful assets that allow the coaches to track which players are showcasing their intangible strengths in practice and games.
When a coach determines which players demonstrated characteristics within the intangible framework, those players receive a physical pair of shoelaces in the color that correlates to that intangible in the branding guide. When that player laces up with the colorful gear they earned, the actions they took to earn that reward will show up on the court like second nature.
When that player laces up with the colorful gear they earned, the actions they took to earn that reward will show up on the court like second nature. The packaging is a direct reference to the logo with the lines engraved on the back, and it doubles as a trophy to remind the recipient that intangibles carry over to real life off the court, therefore driving home the message that sports have a profound impact on who you become as a person. It's not all about wins and losses, it's about getting better every day.