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ESPN Hackathon

Tim McCarthy

Recently, designer and illustrator, Mikey Burton redesigned his website and I noticed a project I hadn't seen before; a series of posters for ESPN's Digital Media Hackathon. Although this happened back in 2012, it's still worth sharing. It's also good to know that a huge company like ESPN uses start-up tactics like 'hackathons' to innovate new products. 

Eli Neugeboren

Tim McCarthy

A couple months ago, I checked out a gallery event called 5 on 5 in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit was focused on basketball and was filled with a bunch of artists that I have featured on this blog, including Aaron Hadley Dana, Nathan McKee, and Chelsey Boehnke. It was nice to see that the show was put on by artists themselves, one of them was Eli Neugeboren. Below is some of his work that I discovered on Double Scribble

NBA Legends

Tim McCarthy

I love the style of these illustrations by Van Orton Design. His original style appears to be a combination of stained glass windows and some 80s video game graphics. 

Return of the King

Tim McCarthy

Two commercials were shown last night in Cleveland's season opener against the New York Knicks about LeBron's return. 

The first one aired earlier this week and shows a shirtless James furiously pumping iron in his high school gym, St. Vincent-St. Mary, in Akron, Ohio. There's flash backs, rock inspired gospel music, and a voiceover, James' mom Gloria saying things like, "This is the city that raised you." 

RG/A did a pretty good job with this one but I think it got beat out by Weiden+Kennedy's Nike commercial "Together" that featured right before tip-off. In this one, the message was more about Cleveland and less about LeBron. (W&K was also the same agency behind the Nike commercial "Rise" of LeBron leaving Cleveland for Miami.)

I recently visited Cleveland for the first time about a month ago and literally everyone was talking about LeBron's return and how much it's going to help the city. Whether or not they win a championship this year, Cleveland will still benefit in multiple ways from LeBron coming home. The commercial definitely a struck a chord with the fans and LeBron got pretty emotional too. 

Unfortunately, the Cavs lost this one but Cleveland fans shouldn't worry. They have the best player on the planet and surrounded him with a pretty stellar cast. Once this team finds their groove, their going to be incredible watch. Best of all, LeBron's focus is on the city and less on himself.

That message is now displayed for the whole city to see. 

Battle of the Bats

Tim McCarthy

Battle of the Bats is a little lettering/illustration duel between designers Erik Marinovich and Tad Carpenter. On every game day of The World Series, each designer will duke it out typographically in the honor of our hometown baseball teams. Follow along on Friends of Type.

Jacob Weinstein

Tim McCarthy

It's been a while since I posted the work of Jacob Weinsten, a talented cartoonist, illustrator and designer who has done a ton of sports pieces for Adidas, Nike, GQ and The New York Times. Jacob was one of the first people I posted about on HEYSPORT and after recently checking out his personal site, I noticed he added a lot more work to his portfolio. Below are some of my favorites.

In addition to commissioned gigs, Jacob is the illustrator and a co-author of FreeDarko’s two books, The Macrophenomal Pro Basketball Almanac and The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History. You can also purchase a lot of his pieces here.

An illustration for Adidas that was later turned into web ads

A desktop wallpaper illustration for The Classical

Illustrations for GQ's "Guide to the New NBA Golden Age."

T-Shirt designs for Nike

Football illustration about Peyton Manning for the Sunday Times.

Illustrations for Tablet, as part of an on-line game snappily titled "The Choose Your Own All-Time Greatest Jewish-American Basketball Team Game!"

Miami MLS Team

Tim McCarthy

Diego Guevara is a designer who grew up playing futbol in South Africa and then moved to Miami when he was sixteen. After David Beckham announced in February that he planned to bring a MLS team to Miami, Diego decided to some of his down time to create the branding for his soon to be hometown club. 

Now, I come across a fair amount amount of team branding projects when I look for stuff to post about on this blog. And I have to be honest, a lot of it is pretty bad. The worst ones are usually when franchises hold contests to crowd source their next design. Did you see what the Dallas Mavericks chose? This on the other hand, is by far the best proposed design I have seen and I really hope someone important sees it so that they will take it into consideration. 

You can read more about the process behind his design here

Nicholas Grinere

Tim McCarthy

Nicholas Grinere illustrated some pretty cool basketball player portraits that incorporate their custom shoes. 

The New

Tim McCarthy

ESPN has finally got around to updating their website and to promote the redesign, they launched a landing page to explain what's new about it. Each section of the page has some nice animated illustrations to explain the new features. The most apparent one is that users will be able to personalize their homepage more so that they can read scores and news of the teams they care about most. 

Overall, the UI follows the flat design trend by stripping out a lot of the excessive textures and gradients that gave the old site a very metallic look. The color palette is also a lot lighter by killing a lot of the black and instead using multiple shades of light grey. Those saturated collage backgrounds appear to be out of the picture as well.

Personally, I never understood all the industrial machine theme that ESPN has been using since I could remember. All those animations made me feel like I was watching a Ford pick up truck commercial, not a sport broadcast channel. It might have came off masculine to appeal to their demographic viewers, but it never felt very "sporty" to me.  Recently, I've also noticed that SportCenter has stripped down their news feed and ticker to be a much flatter design too. This is definitely a step in the right direction. However...

I'm excited to use the new but what I really care about is to see if they have updated their Fantasy Football UI. The current one is one of the hardest products I use on the internet and I'm pretty tech savvy. There's too many navigation options (multiple tabs and drop downs), type styles are all over the place and there's too many third party widgets. A simple task like adding/dropping a player shouldn't involve so many steps. The user experience could be so much better so I hope there's some big updates there. 

Made in New York

Tim McCarthy

The most popular sports drink, Gatorade, says goodbye to Jeter with this black and white spot set to Frank Sinatra's "My Way".  The Nike Jordan Brand spot was pretty bad ass, but this one is a real tear jerker and makes us realize that it really is coming to an end. Hats of to TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles for this beauty. 

The little logo at the end with the pinstripes was a nice touch too.

Jeter has always been one of the classiest athletes and playing in New York has also made him a huge icon to the city. This was another tasteful way to pay respect to someone who has brought so much to the team, city and baseball for the past two decades. I grew up during the Jordan era, but I think I was too young too appreciate his demi-god status. In my opinion, Jeter is the only other athlete to ever reach that status. It will be tough to see him walk away. And that's coming from a Red Sox fan.

Farewell Captain

Tim McCarthy

The farewell season of Captain Jeter is coming to end and The New Yorker paid tribute to the baseball legend with this gorgeous cover by Mark Ulriksen

Below are some past baseball themed covers that Mark did for The New Yorker. 

In and Out of This World

Tim McCarthy

This past July, there were 19 players competing for 12 spots on it's World Cup team. Some of the big names back out, one suffered a serious injury and then others were just cut. ESPN put together a nice little web page to show which players were in and out. The best part is that they commisioned Made by Radio to do some fun animated illustrations of the players. 

Animated Logo

IN: Stephen Curry

IN: James Harden

OUT: Damian Lillard

OUT: Paul George

IN: Anthony Davis

NBA Stories

Tim McCarthy

Jung Heo is a designer from Ohio who grew up watching, imitating and admiring the NBA in the 90's. Lately, he's been working on some NBA pieces which he says were inspired by the content he saw on HEYSPORT. 

I'm just a fan of art and sports and this site is just a by product of those passions. This blog has become a fun way to share great work with others fans but it's awesome to hear that it's inspiring others to produce amazing work.