As the Pistons look to make the Detroit community a bigger part of their team branding through their D-Up campaign, the team on Wednesday named hip-hop artist and Detroit native Big Sean as its creative director of innovation.
The Pistons said in the announcement that Big Sean will be part of the creative team overseeing team merchandise design and in-game experience for Pistons fans as well as community outreach efforts and social responsibility efforts in the Detroit area.
In addition, the Pistons in-arena intro video will feature Big Sean’s music, and the team’s practice jerseys will be emblazoned with the rapper’s signature “Don Life” logo.
“Why Would We Stop?”
Detroit stand up and help welcome @BigSean to the #Pistons family as the new Creative Director of Innovation. Expect the unexpected – Big Sean X Detroit Pistons!#WhatUpDoe | #DonLife | #DetroitRising pic.twitter.com/kGmkMq9ltS
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) December 23, 2020
The move comes at a time when NBA teams are increasingly looking outside the world of pro basketball for branding and marketing professionals. The Raptors notably have a partnership with Drake and his OVO line, while Jay-Z at one point was closely attached to the Brooklyn Nets as a minority owner of the franchise.
At the same time, a league like the WNBA, which recently hired Nike’s senior director of concept, Phil Cook, to be its first CMO. The lines between culture, sports, and fashion are increasingly becoming blurred, and the Pistons are betting that Big Sean, especially due to his local ties to Detroit, will be the next successful example.