How One NBA Player Built Team Chemistry On and Off the Court

Ariza’s former Rockets teammate, Eric Gordon, with his customized Apple AirPods ©Trevor Ariza

The 2018-19 NBA season is in full swing. We are reminded of a project we did last season with professional basketball player, Trevor Ariza, that blended our proprietary color printing process with a hot Apple accessory. The outcome was a sincere gesture of team camaraderie.

Ariza, who was playing for the Houston Rockets, recognizes that true team chemistry is built both on and off the court. As a gesture of appreciation, respect and genuine friendship, Ariza wanted to give a memorable gift to his then-Rockets teammates. The team frequently used Apple AirPods during practice for motivation and focus, and they are noise-canceling and sleek in design. It was clear that the popular wireless earbuds would make the perfect gift.

To make it even more personal, Ariza worked with FUSION OF IDEAS to customize 15 sets of AirPods, one for each of his teammates. Each AirPods charging case was customized with the Rockets’ logo, the player’s last name and number, all in the Rockets’ vibrant red colorway. The result? A unique, personal gift that is symbolic of the team chemistry and skill, leading the Rockets to a victorious season that year.

‘Operation Rudolph’ Brings Great Cheer to Phobio Employees

Phobio is a software company that helps brands create better technology experiences for their customers. The Atlanta-based business is driven by a team of individuals who are leaders and experts in their fields. In 2017, as a way to reward employees for a successful year, Phobio partnered with FUSION OF IDEAS to help create a one-of-a-kind gift for its employees to appreciate and enjoy all year long.

In comes “Operation Rudolph.” Working in stealth mode, FUSION OF IDEAS customized 75 Apple Watches to surprise Phobio’s employees at its holiday party. The watch features a detailed design of the company logo on the dial. The exterior of the watch band is embellished with a design that represents the Phobio brand, and the inside of the band is etched with the company mantra: “Be better.”

Each watch included a personalized gift tag for the recipient and was packaged in its original box covered with a custom box sleeve. Phobio chose to pull everything together with custom gift wrap, which was designed by FUSION OF IDEAS and incorporated the company logo.  

As a company that fosters a collaborative working environment, Phobio was excited to present these personalized gifts to its employees, and the response was overwhelming.

“Our ‘Phobiosapiens’ worked very hard all year and I wanted to show them my appreciation for their great work,” said Phobio CEO Stephen Wakeling. “Operation Rudolph was a huge success and everyone was blown away after opening the gift at our annual holiday party. It’s been a great point of pride among team members. They show their friends and can tell them ‘look what my company did for us!’ It’s going to be very difficult to top that this year.”

Phobio CEO Stephen Wakeling and Chief Solutions Officer Denny Juge on stage with one of the Apple Watches customized by FUSION OF IDEAS. 2017 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers
Phobio employees show off their gifts at their holiday party. 2017 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

Milwaukee Brewers

By Jennifer Fujimori

The Milwaukee Brewers and their fans have a lot to be proud of. The team is currently just one game back from taking the lead in the NL Central division. Their closing pitcher Corey Knebel has recorded 14 saves this season. Legendary hitter Hank Aaron called Milwaukee home for his entire MLB career, and now serves as the senior vice president of the team. And perhaps what speaks the most to the integrity of this team is their commitment to giving back to their community.

The Brewers Community Relations program works actively with players and their families, coaches, and personnel to find and participate in events supporting various causes. Highlights include speaking engagements, youth baseball clinics, fundraising through events like bike rides and 5K runs, and a fan fest from which the proceeds are donated to Brewers Community Foundation youth recreation and education programs.

To recognize these achievements in community outreach, the Brewers organization presents each participating player with an annual gift. This year, the gift of choice was the sleek and lightweight Beats Pill+ speaker, which is a device Fusion of Ideas has customized for several past projects. When the Brewers club approached Fusion, their goal was to elevate the gift even further. They wanted the gift to be both a superior piece of technology and a token of personal appreciation from the team. With the help of mockup designs from our creative team, the client decided on a custom laser etched Brewers logo, which is a letter “M” with a sprig of barley underneath to represent Milwaukee’s brewery tradition.

The resulting final product sent a heartfelt message to the players that their team places a high value on philanthropy and giving back to the Milwaukee community. We couldn’t think of a better way to say thanks.