Billionaire Mark Cuban has recently taken to crowdsourcing for the redesign of his basketball team’s (Dallas Mavericks) jersey. Here’s what Cuban had to say on his blog:
Who will own your design ? The minute you post it, the Mavs will. If you think its horrible that the Mavs own your design. Do not post. If you think its cool that the Mavs could possibly use your design and you will have eternal bragging rights , then post away. If we really like your design and you , I may even throw in some tickets. If we don’t use your design, it will still be here on this site for now and ever more for you to glance longingly at. If your design is close , if not identical to other designs and we pick one of the other designs, for whatever reason, then thats just the way it goes.
If we don’t choose any of the designs,including yours.then we don’t choose any of the designs. That is life in the big city. Move on. This is your chance to get bragging rights and put your signature design on the Dallas Mavs and the NBA.
So lets get this straight…a billionaire asks people to design stuff for free. The designer gets “bragging rights” and the possibility of a few game tickets, while Cuban maintains the right to profit immensely from related merchandise sales? Wow, what a deal.
Okay, so I can understand why people like Cuban choose to take the no-cost route, or why certain hobbyist “designers” may wish to take part in crowdsourcing. What I comprehend is why any self respecting designer would participate in something that contributes to this growing perception that graphic designers should work for free or work with only a chance of getting compensated for their efforts.
As always, there are varying viewpoints on this subject. Here are two:
“If this is a great new way to find great talent… not paying for professional services, I think Mr. Cuban should apply it to his own team. Let’s see how many professional players would sign up just for bragging rights of playing for Mark Cuban.”
-Carrie Martin (comment on LinkedIn)
“If you think its cool that the Mavs could possibly use your design and you will have eternal bragging rights, then post away. I’m a designer and I will gladly draw something up for free.”
-Evan Clark (Comment on Cuban’s blog)
So what are your thoughts on Cuban’s approach for his team’s jersey redesigns? Do you see harm in designers participation in crowdsourcing? Please share by commenting below.