File this one under “What’s Next”: It’s called the “Legendary Icon” (but you’ll surely be forgiven if you think of it as the “Dirk Swish”) and if a two-man team of Dallas entrepreneurs has its way, their icon will have you forgetting all about the Jumpman.
The icon – and concomitant T-shirt – based on the form of Nowitzki’s characteristic fallaway jumper is the brainchild of Ryan Mendez and Mark Fenn, frequent attendees of Dallas Mavericks games and, naturally, big Mavs fans. Inspiration hit Mendez during the NBA playoffs while the pair was focusing on the relaunch of their Streetball.com website/brand.
In a long interview with BiE compadre site heinnews, Mendez explains his close encounter with the muse: While doing a search for good images of *that* jumper online, “I was amazed that there was not a single picture on the Internet that captured the essence of Dirk’s Legendary move. Think about how many photographers had the chance to capture the move, but somehow missed it. I found a few examples of his patented high release but often times his legs were together.
“I kept searching and searching and kept coming up empty – that’s when it really hit me. How can this happen to a guy with one of the best moves in the history of basketball?”
(Not to mention a suddenly marketable one, a fact noted by CNBC shortly after the NBA Finals.)
The result, after brainstorming and Photoshopping, was the “Legendary Icon” logo. In marketing the logo/T-shirt/brand/products, Mendez and Fenn are using a combination of old-fashioned word-of-mouth and internet savvy.
Tactics to get the logo more visibility have proven to be invaluable in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area: Public/media appearances by local names like sports talk radio host Corby Davidson are golden, while Fenn’s fortunate scoring of a ticket to game two in Miami right behind Mark Cuban and Mavericks bench (photo at left) got the logo noticed by tens of thousands at the very least.
DirkSwish.com is the website from which the Legendary Icon products are sold – BiE kinda digs the women’s burn outs; way to keep Dirk close to the, um, heart, eh? – and the company seems to be establishing quite a presence on the social networking community iStreetball.com as well; be sure to check out this page for some Nowitzki-related hip hop by Atlanta (!) rapper C.I.U., including a “We Are the Champions” remix.
Finally, these entrepreneurs are also showing some nice corporate responsibility by donating 5% of profits to the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, an organization with the stated mission “to help provide education, health and well being for children around the world.”
Mendez has written in his own blog that Nike’s advertising campaign for the NBA finals was an “Epic Failure” and that the big shoe company is “out of touch … with its customer base.” Now could be these guys’ chance to celebrate the right players the right way.
To take a look at the current Dirk Swish product line, click here.