Behind The ScenesESPN CareersInnovationNBAThe ESPN DifferenceWalt Disney CompanyWho Does That?Working @ ESPN

Moving “Pic”: What’s Behind ESPN Creative Studio’s Animation Of The NBA’s Iconic “Logoman?”

On ESPN, the league's symbol makes no-look passes, crossover dribbles and dunks as part of more than 30 custom animations. Here's how ESPN and the NBA collaborated on the concept

ESPN’s coverage of the NBA’s 2022-23 regular season is in full swing and boasts a distinctive new brand identity.

ESPN Creative Studio developed a revitalized brand identity for NBA on ESPN that showcases an artfully crafted future-forward animation and editorial look and sound. From the iridescent chrome brush strokes painted across the entire design campaign to the slick animations, the overall look pays homage to the swagger and personality of the NBA.

One of the marquee elements of the new brand identity is an animated version of the iconic NBA “Logoman.”

For ESPN Creative Studio art director Dale Harney, bringing the icon to life is one of the best examples of a team effort.

“My colleague Lucas Nickerson (Creative Director) sparked the idea by challenging us to ‘bring the logo to life.’ Then, Will Huang (Concept Designer) took that idea and ran with it.


  • Dale Harney – Art Director
  • Lucas Nickerson – Creative director
  • Tom Roseski – Manager AGP (TD for project)
  • Will Huang – Concept designer

“As a result of this collective effort, the new brand identity showcases the beautiful motion of the game in an authentic manner. It’s an extremely versatile branding device that is appropriately fun without being playful. ”

In the creative design, viewers see “Logoman” in a way they’ve never seen before: The league logo moves and displays crossover dribbling skills and makes no-look passes in dynamic style (watch the video above for examples).

“We created various basketball moves — dunks, crossovers, dribbles — for each of the core NBA marks, resulting in over 30 custom motions,” added Thomas Roseski, Manager, Animations Graphics. “The process started with rough hand-drawn sketches of various basketball moves, refined the motion into cell animation, and eventually took those motions into 3D.”

But how was ESPN Creative Studio able to animate a mark synonymous with the league?

For Harney, it’s all about collaboration: “We engaged the league on this project from the start.”

And the NBA loves the result.

“Logoman symbolizes the heart of the NBA, and we trusted our partners at ESPN to execute their vision of creating a reimagined version of it while also maintaining its integrity,” said Janine Dugre, NBA Senior Vice President, Brand and Creative Management. “We are thrilled that the animated Logoman will be part of the NBA on ESPN throughout the season.”

Ben Cafardo contributed to this post.
Friday, the Boston Celtics visit the Miami Heat (7:30 p.m. ET) as the opener to an NBA doubleheader on ESPN. In the 10 p.m. nightcap, the Denver Nuggets visit the defending champion Golden State Warriors. For more on NBA on ESPN coverage, visit ESPN Press Room.

The NBA’s iconic “Logoman” and the NBA on ESPN on full display at the FedExForum in Memphis.
(Sam Jordan/ESPN Images)
Back to top button