Here they come, Philadelphia.
The 76ers have been an integral part of the make-up of the strong, sports-loving city of Philadelphia since their relocation in 1963. Many fans and residents know the players by name, stats and even can be seen wearing 76ers gear long after the season is over. But what has been missing in the relationship with the players and Philadelphians who live in the City of Brotherly Love is a connection that goes beyond playing the game of basketball, and that’s where the “76ers Crossover: Art Exhibition, presented by Reebok” comes in. This new exhibition is the first step in celebrating the intersection of basketball throughout the city (more to come later on with food, fashion and music) and even across the globe with all of the cultural elements that make Philadelphia unique.
The “76ers Crossover: Art Exhibition presented by Reebok” is the first step into celebrating the intersection of basketball throughout the city
“We talked about how we could be outside the box with the Philadelphia 76ers but also how we could speak to a base, and not just a 76ers fan base,” says Desron Dorset, Vice President of Business Development for the 76ers. “We view the 76ers crossover as a celebration of the intersection between the 76ers and what I call the culture of Philadelphia — meaning the art, music, fashion and food. We want to amplify our brand into the culture, and art is that first step.”
The art exhibition will display over 200 pieces showcasing the rich history and present atmosphere of the 76ers with contributions by talented artists from 13 countries and locally as well. Guests will get to observe each work of art, focusing on pivotal players and moments from Wilt Chamberlain, to Julius Erving, to the present-day team. Each work of art is unique and completely authentic, and will showcase the beloved enterprise in a new way for audiences.
“We do a great job marketing basketball and the basketball players, but this now gives us the opportunity to really take those principles that we’ve created and to market our basketball players as humans,” adds Dorset.
The “76ers Crossover Exhibition” takes it a step further to see some artists’ work in real-time as well. According to the release, throughout the duration of the event, Reebok will live-paint all-white Reebok classics, giving guests the opportunity to witness art being made right in front of their eyes. Red Bull will also be present at the event with an activation station and more.
All of the incredible works of art will be housed in the newly opened Fitler Club, just steps away from 30th Street Station. “We looked at a few different spaces and we thought this space was important because it was open to the public, easily accessible and a short walk from 30th Street Station if you planned on coming in from out of town,” says Dorset.
One standout exhibit from the collection includes the use of City Edition-issued jerseys being used as blank canvases for local Philly artists to showcase distinctive designs. The exhibit is curated by the popular social media account known for its inside look into the diversified vibe of Philadelphia on Instagram, @Peopledelphia.
Those jerseys and other works of art will also be available for purchase through a silent auction launching simultaneously with the exhibit through the 76ers app. All proceeds will go to help the Sixers Youth Foundation, helping middle-school-aged youth in Philadelphia and Camden.
“This auction is important for a couple of different reasons. It’s a way to direct people to our app as we start to look into the business a little bit further and who our fans are, and most importantly the proceeds go to Sixers Youth Foundation,” says Dorset. “This art exhibition gives us an opportunity to generate additional funds for that foundation. We will keep the option to buy open through Nov. 29 which gives folks the chance to digest the show, look at the art and see if they want to purchase any for holidays gifts.”
According to the release, fans are encouraged to visit 76ers.com/76ersCrossover and follow the @Sixers on social media for additional information on specific showtimes and details for how they can enjoy the art exhibition.
The “76ers Crossover: Art Exhibition presented by Reebok” will be at the Fitler Club (24 S 24th St.) from Nov. 16 – Nov. 19.