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Design Desk | Crowd Sourcing Done Right

How the NBA's Portland Trailblazers turned to the local community for a Gameday Poster series designed for—and by—their fans.

Google Doodles. Alamo Drafthouse's Limited Edition Mondo Posters. Dorito's Superbowl Commercials.

I love it when brands embrace the creativity of their communities and reach out for fan-created content. Whether it's artwork, film, cosplay or a cover album, seeing independent creatives get rewarded for pursuing their passions is immensely gratifying.

That's why when I learned about the Portland Trailblazer's inaugural Gameday Poster series I was so intrigued. A different poster for each of their 41 regular season home games, designed by local artists from the community and produced in limited edition runs only available for purchase at the stadium. The team received over 80 submission from local artists and selected 35 creatives to design unique full-color posters for each game, sold for $10 in the stadium shop. Check it out the full article here from HOW Design

“The whole idea of this concept and the program was to have fans define our brand,” says Todd Adams, Trailblazers brand development manager. “Our brand filters are approachable, unique and authentic. We want to make sure we are authentic to Portland and this allows artists to define what the brand looks like.”

The program was a resounding success - by the end of the season, the program had gained traction and more than half of the season's home games were sold out, and the local artist community couldn't be happier about the response. Says Marcus Harvey, founder of local brand Portland Gear, "We love our sports teams, we love going to games and rooting for them. That is important to us. Portland is still a pretty small town so for us to be a small brand and level up and align with the Blazers and do something with a company and brand everyone already knows, when Blazers fans see Portland Gear stuff and think it is kinda dope, maybe now they will like Portland Gear."

This is such a good idea I can get behind on so many levels. I would love to see some local Indianapolis teams take up this same initiative and get the Indy creative community involved. I also think this could be a great example of opportunity for high schools and colleges to tap into their resident art students and fans to create truly special limited edition merchandise that could be a great stepping stone for students as well.

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