It’s the hallowed grounds of the NBA.
For most fans, once they are inside an arena, the hardwood floor is the first thing their eyes rest upon. For longtime supporters, seeing their favorite team’s court for the first time in person can even be awe-inspiring.
With that in mind, the Phoenix Suns and their advertising agency, Fisher, redesigned the court at US Airways Center for the 2012-13 season hoping to create a new vibe to go with a new version of the club’s roster.
“When you look at what we’re trying to accomplish as a team this season, the excitement of a new year and the excitement of all these new and younger players, it was important to us to utilize a more modern feel on the court,” said Nina Daily, the Suns’ senior director of marketing.
Daily and the other creative members began the brainstorming process, and in a relatively short amount of time – six weeks instead of the usual four months – the court design was finished and the product was put together.
One change that Daily pointed to as the “eye-catcher” is the jump circle at center court, which no longer features the team’s PHX bird logo. Instead, it’s a contemporary-looking wordmark with “SUNS” spelled out. The goal behind the change was to create an ambigram so that fans can read the team name no matter which side of the arena they sit.
The effect that creates, Daily said, is something that should bring eyes back to center-court on a regular basis.
Suns VP of Facility Management Alvan Adams oversees the process of redecorating the team’s new hardwood floor.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
“We’re going to have our name front-and-center,” Daily said. “Previously, we had the Phoenix bird logo, which is an iconic logo that we’ve always used – and we still wanted to incorporate that. But to have Suns there in the middle, where everyone can see it – regardless of where you’re sitting – I think that’s going to be the first thing that people notice.”
The other main emphasis was on adding black to the exterior of the court, which Daily hopes will also add to the more modern look.
An updated version of the bird logo is located on each side of the court in a smaller form, the free-throw lanes have been completely painted for the first time in team history and new graphics have been added to the exterior of the court, including the team’s @Suns Twitter name.
The entire process began as part of the annual refurbishment given to the hardwood following a season of wear-and-tear, according to Alvan Adams the team’s legendary center and current vice president of facility management. Usually the floor is just scuffed up and refinished, but during this offseason, the goal centered on adding the new look.
“This is the new team’s floor – whoever your favorite players is,” Adams said. “It’s Gortat’s court, or Coach Gentry’s court. It’s Goran’s court. These players have earned a great opportunity, and there’s a chance it all comes together on this court.”
In all, Daily has been thrilled to be a part of the project that she called the result of “a lot of teamwork, and a lot of hard work.” She also couldn’t help but emphasize just how important a project involving the court can seem.
“Just walking on it today, I felt like I shouldn’t be on it,” she said. “You just can’t help but feel it’s this very sacred place.”