The NBA, from the franchises down to the players and coaches, takes great pride in licensing its images to as many corporations and businesses as possible. This strategy increases the brand's reach, and that's one of the most valuable things a sports league can accomplish. Keep this in mind the next time you buy a special cup at a local chain simply because your favorite athlete is on it.
Yet a commemorative cup can only communicate so much of a fan's passion. We need something more, an item that's already a part of our daily routines.
Thankfully, the fine people at Card.com are here to help. As noted by Ian Levy at Hickory High, basketball fans can now purchase debit cards featuring the images of Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley and Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic:
Thanks to these swaggy new releases from Card.com, you can blow through your disposable income with style. Their newest round of branded feature prepaid debit cards two of the NBA’s most exciting and, ironically, least recognizable young players; the Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and the Phoenix Suns’ Goran Dragic. This is the stuff that NBA memes are made of.
These talented athletes look surprisingly good shrunk down to debit card size, but should we expect anything less from an Annie Liebovitz shoot? Dragic is captured in a neo-greaser pose–collar popped, wry smile, and ready to chuck the ball at your face. Conley, on the other hand, was in the midst of a modeling session for American Apparel when he headlined a surprise trade to Card.com in exchange for Steph Curry and a 2015 second-rounder.
I see no evidence that Annie Leibovitz was involved in these photoshoots, but let's go with it. Frankly, it would be fitting for the glamor of carrying a Goran Dragic debit card. Imagine ordering a coffee and bagel, whipping out a card featuring the actually-pretty-good point guard of the 19-39 Suns, and passing it to an unsuspecting barista. The Starbucks won't know what hit it!
Card.com features several other basketball-themed cards, including images of Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Chuck Daly. The real piece de resistance, though, is the card featuring Christian Laettner as a member of the Washington Wizards, the team for which he played 206 games over four seasons near the end of his uninspiring NBA career. Plus, it's a prepaid debit card, so no businesses will take Laettner's image as a sign of poor credit.
These cards are only going to get more popular, obviously, and it was a smart move for Conley and Dragic to get involved. Perhaps next time they can even wear basketball uniforms for their photoshoots.