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Sports Packaging Packs a Punch

1 Nov, 2003 By: Dan Bennett

Everybody knows the New York Yankees, but how do you tell a Yankee from another baseball player? It's the pinstripes, of course. In other words, it's the player's packaging.

Big-name Hollywood titles often enjoy creative DVD packaging, and sports titles also rely heavily on solid packaging.

DM.2, a design and branding firm, designed packaging for two high-profile baseball titles, with a third due soon. 100 Years of the World Series: Celebrating a Century of Championships (special-edition double DVD $19.95, single disc $14.95) is available from Q Video. Q Video's The Official 2003 World Series Home Video (DVD $19.95) is due Nov. 18 release. DM.2 also designed packaging for Hart Sharp Video's recent double-DVD, 100 Years of the New York Yankees: Pinstripes, Power, Pride.

“From a consumer purchase standpoint, packaging may be the most important element, because it's the initial impression,” said Chris Brande, senior account director for DM.2.

Sports titles present particular challenges for packaging design, Brande said. While a two-hour film has a set number of images that can be used for the cover, most often already chosen by the studio, sports titles such as these offer hundreds or thousands of images from which to choose.

“The first thing that struck us with these titles was the enormity of the content,” Brande said. “We had to ask ourselves what the imagery was that would appeal to different buyers in different markets. We went through several variations on different themes, and what we settled on were nice, big, bold, classic, almost elegant looks.”

While the recent World Series title and the Yankees history title involved only two teams -- the Yankees and the Florida Marlins -- the World Series history title let DM.2 choose from a wide variety of art. “It was like a history lesson in baseball,” Brande said. “We basically blended images from the beginning of the century to the present.”

DM.2 was also faced with the challenge of establishing a visual difference between the Yankees title and the World Series history title, a tough task given that the Yankees have been involved in so many World Series.

“The parallels are ridiculous,” Brande said. “In the end, you see that in both packaging and content, the titles have a common spirit but are uniquely different products. So many great players, Yankees and otherwise. So many great eras, even those when the Yankees weren't winning as often.”

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