Drew Williams | @DrewWillyums
Crowdsourcing is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.”
Mashable offers a simplified version, calling crowdsourcing “distributed problem solving.”
Whatever terminology you use, there’s no doubt that crowdsourcing is gaining popularity with the rise of social media, and the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks have taken advantage of this trend.
When Mark Cuban took to the internet the summer of 2013 to come up with a new jersey design for the Mavs, it was clear right away that there would be countless submissions. Cuban’s blog, Blog Maverick, quickly gained comments and images from fans submitting what they thought would be the best design for the Mavs future uniform.
Ultimately, the winner was Geoff Case—a Baylor alumnus who does branding work in Dallas—whose design focus was on the revitalization of the Dallas downtown and uptown areas. Case’s design was unveiled at a press conference and on Twitter in September 2014. The new uniform will be used in at least eight games during the 2015–2016 season.
In our industry, this goes to show how important the Internet and social media has become to our society. The Dallas Mavericks, an influential company that has plenty of qualified employees in their marketing and design departments, went to their fans to design something that will be officially representative of the team.
Pessimists will say that this contest was a way for the Mavs to get hundreds of free ideas and concepts, while optimists will say it’s a way to get the fans more involved and allow them to feel like they’re important to the team. In the social media world, we refer to this as interaction, which is a crucial part of brand awareness. No matter the reason, one thing is for sure: crowdsourcing will only get more popular.