Detroit Pistons’ new apparel engages ‘broader group of fans’
The Detroit Pistons have a storied past.
With three NBA titles and 19 Hall of Famers who wore Pistons’ colors, the history of the NBA can’t be told without tales of the franchise that was birthed in Fort Wayne, Ind. in 1957.
Flash forward to 2020.
The franchise has started a restoration under general manager Troy Weaver. A retooled roster with many young prospects will open the season Wednesday night in Minnesota against the Timberwolves, including rookies Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart .
Pistons marketing efforts are taking on a similar tack.
The Pistons recently rolled out two new secondary marks featuring “313” and “DET” logos as part of a brand refresh that aims to engage a new audience. These marks, in tandem with new apparel designs and silhouettes, provide a more lifestyle-inspired approach, making it cool to be worn on trips to the grocery store – not just on game nights. With this roll out comes a new partnership with Legends, a leading ecommerce company, and operator of Pistons313shop.com.
“We were looking to engage a broader group of fans,” Pistons chief business officer Mike Zavodsky said Thursday afternoon. “We've got a core following of fans that's been long tenured with the team and we appreciate their support! As we look to kind of broaden our base, how can we give people more reasons to engage with us? That could come in the form of a new mark that's a little more contemporary, or new apparel that has different silhouettes or is more lifestyle in nature that they can wear in their everyday life.
“That was the driver behind it.”
Zavodsky was hired over the summer and he quickly added Tyrel Kirkham as vice-president of brand and marketing strategy.
Kirkham has worked for several professional sports franchises, most recently with the Los Angeles Rams where he worked closely on a new logo and branding campaign that was introduced earlier this year.
“The first thing I did before making the move was get the intel, ask the right questions, listen to what the people were saying, look at the history, and then come back with a solution that we knew that people would be proud of,” Kirkham said. “We know there's a great passion for the Pistons, but equally as important is the city of Detroit and what that represents. A lot of the designs were inspired by the city.”
The Pistons enlisted the help of Detroit native and former Michigan star Jalen Rose, franchise legend Isiah Thomas and other local celebrities to create awareness. Rose provided the voice-over for the video introducing the initiative.
Zavodsky and Kirkham say the new look was well-received.
“When we look at the traffic that's been generated on our E-commerce site, when we look at some of the commentary, as people are posting about it, it's all been very positive and I think people have embraced it,” Zavodsky said.