/   Basketbolista champions basketball with its new urban court concept

/   Newly designed space reflects regional and global love of basketball in a dedicated store

/   Green Room appointed to design the new look and feel for Basketbolista’s Dubai Mall store

Following the success of their flagship store concept for Sun & Sand Sports (SSS) in the Dubai Mall, SSS’s parent company, Gulf Marketing Group, commissioned Green Room to design the new concept for the first ever basketball speciality store in the Middle East- the Basketbolista store.

The store’s name ‘Basketbolista’ comes from the translation of the Tagalog – the first language spoken by a quarter of Filipinos – name for basketball player, tipping its hat to the huge popularity amongst this local community.

Due to its universal appeal both amongst players and as fashion / lifestyle apparel, basketball is one of the fastest growing categories in sports retail in the UAE region, and SSS saw the opportunity to capitalise on their strength in this market.

Located in The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping centres, the 120 m² store has been designed with the urban basketball court in mind. Instantly recognisable from across the mall the store’s fascia features a large basketball icon, calling out the sport and store to the mall’s visitors.

The open fronted store welcomes customers in, and its simple, rectangular format lends a nod to the court itself, with neon ceiling lighting providing further reference to the familiar lines of the basketball net’s backboard, artfully lengthening the perspective of the store.

A second smaller, illuminated basketball icon heads up a brand statement at the entrance, defining Basketbolista to new customers, while a third large-scale icon in the middle of the store’s floor, reflects court lines and provides a focal point for Basketbolista’s latest collections. Taking centre stage, the bleacher-like tiered table features animated mannequins which bring the display to life. Alongside hero product is presented in a showcase, accompanied by a museum like description, enticing customers and giving them reason to try the coolest new product on offer.

Stocking leading basketball brands Nike, Jordan, Under Armour and Adidas, their colourful apparel and accessories collections are displayed at the front of the store on bespoke unitary. A display of white basketballs and large-scale imagery of the sport’s international heroes support the perimeter merchandising and provide further context, while a full-height atmospheric black and white image of local players on the wall behind the cash desk, gives the store a sense of community. The dynamic angle of this image is accentuated by an illuminated edge, creating a break between the front of the store and the lighter palette of the rear space, where Basketbolista’s footwear collections are presented and customers can try footwear on.

Large back-lit graphics emblazon the back wall, drawing the eye to the store’s premium footwear, while seasonal collections are displayed on adjacent walls, which feature flush, inset screens with match stills and footage. Above bold inspirational quotes from basketball icons Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant emblazon the walls, confirming Basketbolista as a specialist retailer, equally as passionate about the sport at its customers and reflecting their motto ‘We are not a basketball store. We are basketball. We are Basketbolista’

Mike Roberts, Green Room’s Chief Creative Officer commented “Green Room’s concept uses a combination of materials, colour and graphics to capture the spirit and atmosphere of the urban court which appeals to both ardent and more casual players and lovers of the game. We know that basketball taps into a huge and diverse global audience, we believe we’ve captured some of this passion and brought it to life on a local stage.”

Deputy Chairman & CEO at Gulf Marketing Group, Mohammad A. Baker added “Basketbolista represents the first basketball speciality store in the UAE. Our aim was to create an experience hub for the sport, a place where the growing, local basketball community could celebrate the game and engage with the latest products delivered in premium surroundings with equally premium customer service. Green Room have helped us to achieve this vision.”

Basketbolista’s 120 m² store opened in June and can be found on the second floor of The Dubai Mall.

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