Miami Mashup is such a unique concept. Why is this uniform campaign so monumental?
Michael McCullough: The cool thing about Miami Mashup is that it’s a uniform that allows HEAT Nation to enjoy and celebrate so many of the reasons why they love their Miami HEAT. There are numerous moments and memories wrapped up in the design of the uniform, that, as you spend more time with the uniform, you find another element that you were not expecting, which brings another flood of good feelings. In addition to the design, I love the fact that Miami Mashup is the uniform campaign that follows our popular VICE campaign. I think a lot of people thought we might “play if safe” after such a successful run, with five VICE uniforms in four seasons…but that’s not how do things here! Everyone in the Marketing Division, and, in particular, our incredible Creative team, were stoked for the challenge of creating not the “next VICE,” but something completely different that represented the “Mixtape” concept.
There were so many creative brains behind this concept. Talk about the thought process when it came to choosing the moments that define this uniform.
Brett Maurer: Identifying moments was the first step of the process, and lucky for us we had a ton to choose from. All three championships were a given, with rich stories to tell about each of those years. Pat Riley’s arrival in 1995 was pivotal for the franchise and led to the acquisition of HEAT Legends, Zo and Tim. And more recently, who will ever forget Wade’s “One Last Dance”… all of these were not only incredible moments in franchise history, but in league history as well.
You’ve been in the NBA world for quite a while. How cool was it for you to be part of this process where players choose their own number styles?
MM: I guess that’s your way of saying I’m old, right?! You’re right, I’ve been at this for a while, but, in all my time in the NBA, I’ve never seen a uniform campaign that was centered around each player having the ability to express himself via the number style on his jersey. The fact that each player’s number style will be different and unique yet tied together because of their connection to HEAT uniforms of the past, is a great way to have this connective tissue between previous HEAT teams and our team this season. The process of watching the players actually select their number style was cool because they had never been given the opportunity to do that before. Everyone gets to pick their number, but to be able to select the number style that you thought was the coolest or best represented you or your number, well, that was a first, and I think the guys enjoyed having that opportunity.
This thing is so incredibly detailed! What’s your favorite hidden gem of the uniform?
BM: It’s the yellow rope trim.
While much of the design takes direct inspiration from past uniforms we’ve worn, the yellow rope trim is more conceptual. In 2013 the championship was on the line, and Ray hit the biggest shot in league history. The photos are beautiful and in that unique moment, security is seen surrounding the court with a yellow rope in preparation for the Spurs championship celebration that never was. Moments like that are lightning in a bottle, and it’s amazing that we got to witness it here in Miami.
MM: There are so many cool details in this uniform design, and some of the best gems aren’t hidden, but they’re right there for you to see. But, since you asked for a hidden gem, I’m going to go with the “15 STRONG” mark above the label at the bottom of the jersey. Since I’ve been here for all three of our Championships, and while each of our Championships have their own special significance, there’s just something about the innocence of winning the first one…all the first-time experiences wrapped in that journey and the wonder of planning and executing the Championship Parade…you don’t know what you don’t know and we had to learn on the fly. So, seeing “15 STRONG” on the uniform takes me back to those moments (some of which I’ve tried to forget…).
There are hundreds of different number styles that fans can play around with to create a custom fit. How special is this?
MM: How about over 5,200 different numeral combinations? That’s crazy, right?! I’m looking forward to seeing an arena full of different and unique number style combinations created by our fans. In Miami, we value our individuality, yet, we can come together for the good of our Miami HEAT. That’s what Miami Mashup allows our fans to do in a way they have never been able to do before. While the jersey may look the same, it can be their own individual interpretation, so I anticipate seeing some really interesting number style combinations once the Miami Mashup campaign is in full effect.
What’s the coolest thing for you about seeing a final product come to life?
BM: The coolest part is seeing it live on court! Uniform design is a lengthy two-year process with a ton of planning and approvals to navigate. To see the product in its element, after all that is incredibly rewarding… and for a guy that’s been watching the NBA since childhood, nothing short of a dream come true.
Speaking of the court, let’s talk about the new court design. How were you able to pull details from the uniform to complement the hardwood?
BM: We designed the floor in much the same way we did the uniform, by putting our past courts in a blender and creating something completely new. Our Miami Mashup ball and flame is the star of the show in our traditional center-court placement. We used the VICE three-point line and hashmarks going back to Dwyane’s game-winning three vs the Warriors in “One Last Dance”. For the paint, we modernized our throwback design with the black paint and red markings creating a tough look. And of course, my favorite call out – the gold rope sidelines and baselines, surrounding the court in reference to “The Shot.”
What are you looking forward to most about the release of this campaign?
MM: It’s all about the numbers! I just think it’s super cool that both our players and our fans will have the chance to express themselves by creating their own individual versions of the Miami Mashup uniform. And, while there’s clearly no shame in sporting the jersey exactly as the player chose it, the opportunity to individualize your own jersey your own way doesn’t come around often…actually, it’s never happened before…so, I encourage HEAT Nation to make their own Miami Mashup uniform “you-nique” to them!
BM: For this campaign, I’m really looking forward to the customization component in particular. It’s the only time in professional sports history that players were able to choose their number styles and therefore, have a direct impact on the look of their uniforms on-court. They were excited to do so, and I can’t wait to see fans bring that same energy in-arena.