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Basketball New Zealand launches Tauihi with the help of EightyOne and SixOneNine

Basketball New Zealand, with partners EightyOne and cultural consultants SixOneNine, are slam-dunking their way into a new era for women’s basketball by launching a new, elite, women’s basketball league with names and brand identities.

Partnering with SKY to ensure mass exposure of the competition and, through pay equality with the men’s NBL, the new league is attracting the best players – both Kiwi and international – taking the sport to a new level.

EightyOne worked to create an uplifting, aspirational, brand identity that expressed the essence of basketball rooted in a modern Aotearoa, for the league and its five franchises.

Carlos Constable from EightyOne says: “Working with BBNZ’s kaumatua, Dr Taku Parai (Ngāti Toa) we landed on the te reo expression “Tauihi” (to soar, to glide in the air). And rooted the origins of our league in the origins of Aotearoa by linking our narrative back to Kuramarotini, wife of Kupe the navigator who was first to lift her gaze to see the mass of white cloud signalling land and cry out “He ao! He aotea! He Aotearoa!”.

“While the league logo is a representation of a basketball swishing through the net. The top half shows the ball just before it disappears through the hoop. Below this, the net is made up of a simple taniko/tukutuku triangle pattern – a combination of Niho Taniwha and Aronui designs. These symbolise determination, tenacity, striving for excellence, and the pursuit of knowledge. Look closely and you can see an arrow design within the taniko pattern, which symbolises our name Tauihi…to soar.”

In collaboration with franchise tikanga Māori partners, EightyOne and SixOneNine developed team names and logos that combined our masterbrand narrative with their own regional identities. This led to all five teams having te reo Māori monikers – a national first for a sporting competition.

“We put a lot of trust in EightyOne to create the look for our pioneering new women’s competition. That trust was repaid, and then some. At all times they understood us, led us, followed us, and delivered for us. The results were well beyond our expectations.”

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