Over the last two seasons the Portland Trail Blazers have commissioned Game Night Posters, producing a limited run of prints for each home game. Local artists get a chance to showcase their work, while the Blazers get an exclusive collectible to sell in their team shop. Everybody wins.
The exercise grew quickly from cute concept to bankable trend. Scott Cacciola of the New York Times profiled that growth in an article today, looking at the advantages from all sides.
As Cacciola relates, making a name in an arena venue can boost the profile of otherwise-hidden artists.
“It’s a huge deal for the artists,” said Michael Verhey, a graphic designer who worked with his wife, Meghan, to make the poster for a home game against the Denver Nuggets last month. “You can’t really ask for better exposure than this.”
It’s also become a big deal to season-ticket holders, some of whom are collecting the posters.
Jay Gregg, a retired lumber broker from Lake Oswego, Ore., began collecting the posters last season with his son Austin, 23. To date, they are missing just two of them — the first two from last season. Gregg, a season-ticket holder for 44 years, has been unsuccessful in his efforts to make his collection whole.
“Kind of frustrating,” Gregg said. “I was even going to put a little blurb in our neighborhood blog to see if anyone had extras I could buy.”
The Blazers benefit through a connection to the local community, plus another item to draw in potential shoppers. Cacciola relates that most of the posters sell out, along with extra merchandise.
You can read the entire profile here.