Mark Cuban didn’t become a self-made billionaire by spending cash willy-nilly. The former bartender accumulated his wealth first in the software industry and only later did he get into entertainment and sports.
Today, he’s filthy rich and, as he’s made sure everyone on the continent knows, he owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. And he still doesn’t want to pay for things he can get for free.
In a recent post on the Dallas Mavericks’ blog, Cuban announced the Mavericks plan to revamp their uniforms for the 2015-16 season, and he asked fans of the team to submit potential designs.
Pro sports franchises typically spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on rebranding. Numerous potential logos and uniform designs are drawn up by a team of experienced professional designers, focus groups are brought in, and the process of choosing a new identity can take years to complete.
It sounds like Cuban expects to skip all that stuff and get a cool new look for his team for free. Essentially, he’s looking for a sucker to hustle.
Well, at least he’s being upfront about what he’s asking:
Who will own your design ? The minute you post it, the Mavs will. If you think its horrible that the Mavs own your design. Do not post. If you think its cool that the Mavs could possibly use your design and you will have eternal bragging rights , then post away. If we really like your design and you , I may even throw in some tickets. If we don’t use your design, it will still be here on this site for now and ever more for you to glance longingly at. If your design is close , if not identical to other designs and we pick one of the other designs, for whatever reason, then thats just the way it goes.
So, what say you, amateur sports logo designers of the world? Is this an opportunity you’ll jump at?
Before you say yes, you should read what they have to say over at NoSpec.com. The site makes a compelling argument that contests are a very bad thing for the design industry. If designers allow business owners to make them compete against each other for the “privilege” of not even getting paid for their work, it devalues their skills across the board. In theory, any designer capable of crafting a uniform worthy of an NBA court should be smart enough not to give that uniform away for free.
Cuban clearly thinks there’s a sucker — or perhaps many of them — out there who’ll fall into his trap. Sadly, there’s a good chance he’s right.