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Design showcase: Basketbolista in The Dubai Mall

New retail brand Basketbolista has launched its first store, in The Dubai Mall. The venture has been launched by Gulf Marketing Group, which previously launched the Sun & Sand Sports (SSS) brand in the same venue.

The company returned to UK agency Green Room to create its latest store. The name comes from the translation of the name of basketball players in Tagalog, the first language of a quarter of Filipinos. Basketball is hugely popular among this community.

Basketball represents one of the fastest growing categories in sports retail in the UAE, both among players and as fashion items. The SSS management team saw a chance to capitalise on this popularity with a store dedicated to the game.

The 120 sq m (1,292 sq ft) store has been designed to reflect an urban basketball court, with a large basketball icon visible from across the mall.

An open storefront encourages shoppers inside, where a simple rectangular space is easy to navigate – and reinforces the dimensions of a basketball court. Neon ceiling lights reference the lines of basketball net’s backboard while lengthening the perspective of the store interior.

The basketball item is repeated throughout the store, with illuminated versions on the walls and a large version on the floor, which reflects court lines. Bleacher-like tiered tables feature animated mannequins which bring product displays to life. Hero products are presented in showcase with a museum-like description to encourage consumer interest.

Leading basketball brands – including Nike, Under Armour and Adidas – are stocked in the store, and displayed on bespoke units. 

Inspirational quotes from players, a display of white basketballs, and large scale images of sporting heroes, are shown around the perimeter of the store, with a full-height image of local players on the wall behind the service desk.

Large back-lit graphics are positioned on the back wall, drawing customer’s view towards the premium footwear ranges. Seasonal collections are displayed on side walls, which feature flush inset screens showing match footage.

“Basketbolista represents the first basketball speciality store in the UAE. Our aim was to create an experience hub for the sport, a place where the growing, local basketball community could celebrate the game and engage with the latest products delivered in premium surroundings with equally premium customer service,” says Gulf Marketing Group deputy chairman and CEO Mohammad A. Baker.