The Sixers, never ones to shy away from weaving a through line between sports, culture, and the history of Philadelphia, are holding their Crossover art exhibition in partnership with Reebok and Red Bull at the Fitler Club in Philadelphia this weekend.
The free event kicks off tonight and runs through Tuesday.
It will culminate with a VIP event during which the Sixers will unveil their new City Edition uniforms.
Here’s the schedule:
- Saturday, Nov. 16: Open to general public from 8 – 10 p.m.
- First-Look Event from 6 – 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 17: Open to general public from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 18: Open to general public from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 19: Monday, Nov. 18: Open to general public from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- VIP Event from 6 – 8 p.m.
Part of a larger effort to grow the global brand, Sixers President Chris Heck and his team recognized that the current interest in the team represents an opportunity for the Sixers to showcase not only themselves, but also what’s great about the city of Philadelphia.
Some highlights from the Crossover art exhibition:
- It will display more than 200 pieces produced by over 100 artists from 11 different countries. 40 of the artists are from Philadelphia.
- The Exhibition will showcase Philadelphia 76ers basketball from Wilt Chamberlain, to Julius Erving, to the 2019-20 76ers.
- Artwork includes works of:
- Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Colored Pencils, Mixed Media, Paper, Digital, Animations, Sculptures, Wood, Spray paint and Photography.
- City Threads – Jersey Exhibition
- The fabric of the 2017-18 City Edition jersey serves as the canvas for artists to interpret the common thread of their 76ers fandom
- Curated by Brendan Lowry of Peopledelphia, 20 local artists using various mediums will put their own unique twist on the same jersey.
- 76ers Photography Series
- Photographers include:
- Matisse Thybulle – 76ers player
- Alex Subers – 76ers team photographer
- Gary Land – award-winning photographer
- Jesse Garrabrant – veteran NBA photographer
- Photographers include:
- Red Bull Cooler Series
- Philadelphia 76ers-themed Red Bull coolers will be displayed that were visually created by local artists Glossblack and Brunosky.
- One cooler will be available in the auction
- Three coolers will be distributed at bar locations around the city
- Mark’d Sneaker Design
- Artists will be designing on white Reebok classics that fans can buy.
- Fisher Sculptures
- Sculptor Chad Fisher will display portraits and modellos of 76ers Legends Walk that no one gets to see.
“We have players from all over the globe, fans from all over the globe, and we have this city that has emerged as a cultural Mecca with arts, fashion, cuisine, and music,” Heck said. “This gave us an opportunity and a direction that we could parlay the 76ers team with these nuances of culture.”
Basketball, more than any other sport, is intertwined with culture, fashion, and music in ways that, say, baseball could only dream of.
So for the Sixers, the logical extension of this is to hold an event celebrating all of it and then double down on it as a theme throughout the season.
“This is the first stage,” Heck said. “You’re going to see more and more things, whether they’re live in person… it’s a way for us to showcase the team through social media, through content, through merchandising, of what we’re doing even if people are not able to experience it in person.”
The event will feature Sixers inspired art from local artists, music, and culinary fare. One of the exhibits will see a group of artists put their spin on the Sixers’ previous City Edition uniforms, using it as a canvas to impart their particular style and add some flavor.
There will be a photography exhibit, where the team will feature photos taken by Matisse Thybulle.
Additionally, Reebok will offer up its classic white basketball shoes as a canvas for local artists.
“We have two partners that jumped on board when we came up with the idea, with Reebook and Red Bull,” Heck pointed out. “And if you look at how they both think about their brands and their businesses, they do cross-over from sport to culture– so the synergy is there of sharing that culture that we’re able to provide through basketball to the world.”
The art exhibition will launch a silent auction through the Sixers’ app where fans can bid on some of their favorite pieces. A portion of the net proceeds from the auction will benefit the Sixers Youth Foundation. It concludes November 29.
The Sixers, more than any other team, and thanks to their namesake, have embraced the history of Philadelphia in ways that few have, celebrating the everything from the founding of the country to Rocky through marketing campaigns, uniforms, and events like this one.
For folks in Philly, some of this may seem redundant, but the Sixers fancy themselves a national and now international brand.
They not only view the entire area as a region from which to pull (they didn’t have a presence in Delaware, so they built a G League arena in Wilmington), but they also view the globe as their market.
They are popular in China. For their sake, they were mostly able to sidestep the backlash the NBA took with regard to its stance (or lack thereof) on the protests in Hong Kong. The Sixers have a large following in that part of the world. A Chinese sponsor adorns the stanchions on the baskets at the Sixers’ practice facility. And thanks to the international profiles of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Sixers have fans everywhere. They view this Crossover event as yet another opportunity to showcase what’s great about the city of Philadelphia.
“What better way to represent Philadelphia than to show how cool the 76ers experience is,” Heck said.
If you’re interested in attending the event, tickets are free and can be found here. The VIP event on Tuesday night will be invite only, but you will be able to see plenty of coverage from local media outlets, including this one the following day.