On Thursday, May 20, in the setting of studio Bazelmans in Eindhoven under the expert guidance of host Humberto Tan the name of the new Belgian / Dutch basketball competition was announced, which until now had the working title BeNeLeague. After writing history on 10 December last year when the clubs from both countries almost unanimously opted for a combined league, materializing under the name BNXT League.
Crowdsourcing and Generation Z
To get fans and in particular 'Generation Z' (globally: young people between 6 and 25 years, who are known worldwide to consider basketball as one of the most popular sports) excited about this ambitious project from the beginning, the Belgian Pro Basketball League and the Dutch Basketball League set up a crowdsourcing campaign in the months of January and February, managed by sports marketing agency Triple Double Sportmarketing. The question was simple; come up with a name for our new league. From more than 1100 submissions, besides some more obvious suggestions like Lowlands League or simply BeNeLeague, there were also some very creative proposals.
The choice finally fell on BNXT League, submitted by 17-year-old Justin Louakili from Ravenstein who we want to thank for his inspiring submission and who will be rewarded with a trip for 2 to an NBA game. In addition, Justin will receive a duo pass to all BNXT League games.
The word BNXT, which looks extra young because of the absence of vowels, consists of the letters B(elgium) and N(etherlands) and clearly contains the word 'next'. BNXT refers to the future and makes a call to action to the next team, player, partner, sponsor, champion, basketball fan and sports enthusiast to get the best out of themselves and to forge a new, colorful basketball community, where cooperation and growth are paramount. In short: a competition that will be innovative, colorful, enthusiastic, spectacular and a true way of life, in a sport that never stands still.
The brand design was in the hands of Make Out Studio from Antwerp.
Creative director and founder of Make Out Studio Stijn Hens: "The intention was always to bring the league closer to the world of its fans. In this way the identity creates space for outspoken communication from the league as well as a fresh vehicle for everything that happens off the field. The design system reflects the colorful world of basketball and brings a blend of sport, spectacle, action and (sub)culture that is deeply rooted across several generations."
Wim Van de Keere, general manager Pro Basketball League. "Starting in September, we will be launching this new and ambitious project. This is the result of the hard work of many people from the leagues, clubs and federations in the past year, in which the pandemic was an additional challenge. Since January we have been working with an interim board of 4 people from both leagues, with the task of concretizing the preparatory work of 6 working groups that were active from April to November. Mission accomplished in terms of name and brand. In the coming weeks we will give more details to position the BNXT brand as strong as possible in the market. The interest of media & commercial parties is great and both play a crucial role in making this a success."
Ramses Braakman, President of the Dutch Basketball League: "I can testify to the many efforts that have been made to get this done in a relatively short period of time. In 2019 the first discussions were started and now we are only a few months away from the start of this new league, which all clubs in both countries are eagerly looking forward to. The BNXT League will bring more variety and exciting games. With a market of 29 million people, there are also more opportunities commercially for the clubs to give this new league the clout it deserves."
Tune in later this afternoon on bnxtleague.com to watch this morning's press conference.