Can business learn from basketball?

Did you yell “Go 286” or are you yelling “Go 287”


OK…regardless of who you “pull for,” as we say in the south, the real question was: Pantone 286 or Pantone 287?

What I am referring to is the system of color controls called Pantone Match System. Pantone 286 is the official color of University of Kentucky’s basketball team. Pantone 287, just a shade different, is the official color of the Duke University.

Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of Pantone Color Institute, was quoted in last weeks New York Times, saying “the two colors as ‘very close’ but finds Kentucky’s blue to have more ‘vibrancy and excitement,’ while Duke’s conveys ‘power and authority.’” (To read the article: )

Why care? This all sounds like art director mambo jumbo some business leaders would say. Well if you think so, you are wrong. You want an art director to think on these things. To craft a color that become a passion and a symbol of your firm, or in this case a team. Color is an authentic representation of who you are. Subtle tweaks, those a skilled art director makes, can change your brand from being staid to having life. From dull to endearing. It matters.

I care with a passion about B2B sales and marketing matters. Often I state, “without revenue not much else matters in business.” In this sales and revenue driven dialogue it can seem that I am not a proponent of the craft of design. Perhaps you find yourself dismissive of the value design brings? We both need to learn a lesson from the NCAA basketball tournament.

Color matters and the conversation around one shade of blue or another can matter to your manufacturing firm, to your bank, to your small business.

Want to think some more about these matters? Click here for insights on design and business.


P.S. “Go 286” Yeah yeah, I know UK is out. But still. Interesting take on color, no?