The Influence of Commercial Real Estate on Sports Logos

This is why I love my job.  How many people can talk and write about sports logos and commercial real estate in the same blog post.  I originally drafted the below post for my company’s blog but figured that since it covers sports logos that I would post to Squirrels as well.

Commercial real estate and sports have always had a symbiotic relationship.  Build the stadium first, then the CRE sector will fill in with retail (shops, restaurants, etc), nearby apartment buildings, and offices to serve up demand.  But rarely if ever have CRE and sports logos collided.

Recently the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks announced an alternate team jersey that would feature the Dallas city skyline on its uniforms.  A brilliant marketing idea, in my opinion, as it further establishes a connection between team and city.  A city’s skyline is the epitome of its office sector showcasing easily identifiable buildings of its host market.

The Mavericks’ skyline jersey approach got me thinking, what other sports teams from the four major U.S. sports (NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA) currently have or have previously featured commercial real estate on their logo or jersey?  Let’s take a look.

New York Mets


The longest current design to feature real estate.  The Mets logo was created in 1962 and has stood the test of time.  The logo depicts the New York skyline and prominently features the Empire State Building, the Woolworth Building and the United Nations Building.

Dallas Mavericks


Kudos for the Mavericks for revisiting the skyline approach and highlighting the Dallas commercial real estate market.  The logo on this jersey was inspired by the designer’s love of the team and the city.

Denver Nuggets 


Say what you want about the dated 1980’s logo that looks similar to a game of Tetris.  This logo does a great job of visually depicting the city of Denver and the majestic Rocky Mountains

Seattle SuperSonics


The SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and the logo suffered as a result.  In the mid-1970’s the SuperSonics introduced their logo that famously features the downtown and the prominent Space Needle.

Sports and commercial real estate are so intertwined with a city that I am surprised this approach has not been used more often.  Several teams have included city relics into their logo such as the Golden State Warriors featuring the Golden Gate bridge and the St. Louis Cardinals featuring the Gateway arch.  But featuring the office sector of your city?  Simply powerful.  Imagine the Sears Tower (now called Willis Tower) and Hancock Building on the Chicago Bulls logo or Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on the O’s road uniforms.  One can only wish.


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