Creative look and production of the Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Herd, Summer League, schedule release, regular season, NBA Bubble, NBA All-Star, NBA Playoffs, NBA Finals, and NBA Championship creative
Concept, creative look, music, motion graphics, and production of Bucks Statement and City Jersey launches
2021 Milwaukee Bucks official NBA Championship logo and championship banner design
Concept and illustration of "Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!" Bucks Pro Shop t-shirt
Design and production of digital, in-arena, social, print, and outdoor creative
Apparel design for retail, player on-court warmups, and gameday giveaways
"History in the Making" atrium banner at Fiserv Forum
Motion graphics and video storyboarding and production
Video editing support
Additional design support for Bucks partners and players
Design mentoring for junior designers, interns, and students
2021-2022 Nike City Jersey Reveal
Music: Deadstock, Produced by Kris Martinez
Now this is a story all about how...
The 2021-2022 Nike City Jersey reveal was one of my favorite team stories to tell. The NBA was celebrating its 75th anniversary and —partnering with Nike— developed jersey designs that celebrated each individual team's history. How do you include over 50 years of team history in under 60 seconds?
I decided to build the story around a collage approach. This allowed me to build layers to each era, seamlessly work in elements and easter eggs for long-time fans, and mash-up footage of different quality that would have otherwise been jarring to see side-by-side. The layer building also brought an energy to the overall video, and allowed me to experiment with different transitions, type animations, and framerate changes.
To further the story, I deliberately chose photos and clips that were major moments in Bucks history or represented a specific year. For instance, Khris Middleton shooting over Warriors-era Kevin Durant, or Michael Redd facing up against a rookie LeBron James. And of course, the Bucks winning their first championship in 50 years. Each game action photo and clip was deliberately chosen to tell the story of each era.
Sound design was also incredibly important. For this video, I produced a hip-hop track that not only brings energy and pace to the video, but also uses instrumentation to call back to earlier decades. Most hip-hop is built on samples from earlier eras, which made it the perfect bed for combining over 50 years of rich history. I'm personally a huge fan of producers Just Blaze and J. Dilla, and used them as inspiration to craft something original. If you listen closely, you'll hear not only classic quotes from announcers and players, but sound design that mirrors their respective eras. For instance, listen back and try to find the sound of someone's pager going off.
One subtle decision I made also had a huge impact: I showed the jersey first. This is never the case for jersey reveals! But in this case, it more sense to show the jersey first and then show the history and context in which it was built. That way, fans could pick out which elements came from which eras much more quickly and intuitively. And as a fallback, each era also includes a brief shot of exactly which jersey element was pulled for the new Nike jersey.
2021 NBA Championship
I was fortunate enough to design both the Milwaukee Bucks Championship banner as well as the official NBA Championship logo. Both carry much behind their simple designs. The championship banner seen here calls back to the 1971 banner in order to sit seamlessly beside it in the rafters of Fiserv Forum and open up a consistent layout for future championships.
—I produced this short video to display on every monitor in Fiserv Forum the moment the Bucks won Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
—Player warm-ups designed for the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
—WWE Superstars Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods of The New Day wearing the "Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!" t-shirt I designed for the NBA Playoffs. This shirt became the best-selling tee in Bucks' history.
2020 NBA Playoffs
Music: Supercharged, Written & Produced by Kris Martinez, performed by Dante Nash
Entering the Bubble
2020 was a unique year to say the least. COVID-19 had locked down the entire world and officially affected the United States when the NBA cancelled a game right before tipoff. Little did we know that 'flattening the curve' meant that the NBA season would suspend for 5 months.
My goal for this video was to jump start the season for the team after a five month pause. The term 'Supercharge' immediately came to mind as a way to inject instant energy and fan excitement. Visually, this was represented by turning players into physical energy while highlighting player trademarks that fans know and love. Fans could look forward to Middleton's mid-range, Brook Lopez defending the paint, and of course the Greek Freak dominating at the basket.
Musically, I wrote and produced a track to fit the narrative of the story. Each line ties back to a player, a clip on-screen, and even references the NBA bubble in Orlando. Having a custom track not only saved tens of thousands on licensing fees (this was also broadcast on television), but also allowed me to dictate the energy, pace, and story that I wanted to tell in each clip.
I was also tasked to create all of the motion graphics for the makeshift arena, seen below. In addition, I covered every game from the safety of my home in Milwaukee, creating score graphics and unique player designs live every quarter. A few selects are below.
—What started as a simple idea for a rally towel became a signal of strength, resolve, and solidarity during the summer of 2020. This mark and what it stands for has become one of the proudest designs of my career.
2020-2021 Nike City Jersey Reveal
Music: Reign Deer, Produced by Kris Martinez
"Be like water"
This Bruce Lee quote is a perfect metaphor for the fluidity needed to develop and execute this campaign for the 2020-2021 Nike City jersey. The COVID pandemic was still in full effect during this time and provided a huge new storytelling and logistical challenge: how do I show Milwaukee as 'The Gathering Place' if we're unable to gather?
Without access to players or groups of four or more people, I developed a concept that would highlight not just Lake Michigan, but the beautiful public spaces and views that carry Milwaukee's lakefront and rivers. My goal was to show that even though we can't gather as a group, we can still enjoy these spaces collectively. As you'll notice, there are several shots of the same space, but taken at different times of the day and with different people interacting in different ways.
At center frame, we follow our main character throughout the city, with the two remaining frames providing color of some of Milwaukee's best spaces. The three frame layout is also a subtle nod to the Milwaukee confluence; an intersection of three rivers that are a major landmark of the city.
Regarding sound design, I produced a music track that still pulls in the grit of the city. As much as this is a love letter to Milwaukee, it was also important to recognize our toughness and resolve. There's also a secret bit of sound design at the end. Listen closely and you'll hear the church bells of Cathedral Square —a major gathering spot in downtown Milwaukee— atop the waves of Lake Michigan.
This project is very personal to me for a variety of reasons. One, because of the enormous challenge and adversity to pivot, storytell, and execute. Two, because I use several personal photos throughout. They're from a collection of photos and videos that I have taken over several years and seasons. It was my personal connection to our city. And finally, this was my minor acting debut. A model unfortunately had to cancel last minute, so I make a tiny appearance at :08 wearing the jersey in public for the first time. Since jerseys are kept very secret and are never public, filming this scene outside was as nerve-wracking as it sounds!
Odds & ends
The story doesn't end here. I produced everything from entire season campaigns to gameday graphics and wallpapers. Enjoy a few selects including graphics for #NBA75, the 2021 Olympics, NBA All-Star Game, and more. Go Bucks!
—I also like to have a little fun with the brand. Here's an NBA All-Star voting video I wrote and edited as a parody to the just-released Disney+ streaming service.
—When the Greek Freak asks you to Photoshop a graphic for his social media, you don't say no!