The Barn reimagines favorite Turkey Day side dishes as football teams for NBC

NBC Sports has turned to a Wilmington design firm to brand its Thanksgiving Side Dish Bowl promotion that will run throughout the weekend, starting with a high-visibility appearance on the “Today” show on Thanksgiving morning.

The Barn, a design firm that specializes in sports design, was asked to reimagine Thanksgiving side dishes as football teams. The Barn’s touch can be seen from head to toe with uniforms representing such side dishes as stuffing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. Team names, and all branding marks and logos, to custom uniform designs, glove slogans, helmet designs, all the way down to the social media graphics.

Barn President Nick Matarese
Nick Matarese

“The Thanksgiving Side Dish Bowl was originally supposed to be a social-only engagement campaign,” said Barn founder and President Nick Matarese, a DBT40 honoree in 2015. “It was designed to be a fun twist to get people talking, but we were really focusing on making something incredible for this project. We could barely contain ourselves when we heard halfway through the project that NBC was happy to the point that they wanted to do physical production on the Today show on Thanksgiving.”

The Barn recently won 11 national design awards by Graphic Design USA. From branding to engagement campaigns to social graphics, this brings the Barn’s total to 56 over the past five years. Matarese founded the company as Matarese Designs at the Coin Loft in 2010, and since then has branded The Walt Disney World Marathon, the AFL All-Star Game, breweries, and professional sports teams and worked with Adidas, NBC Sports, Rockwell tools, and Wahl.

The Barn’s contract with NBC Sports is in its third year, and Matarese said it’s worked hard to expand the contract each year to do larger and more creative work.

“This year we were asked to constantly push for larger ideas outside of our normal contract, which is essentially any creative firm’s dream,” he said. “The team at NBC pushed our whole team and somehow pulled off the impossible and got 100% custom uniforms made in 10 days. Our great working relationship with the entire team at NBC shined in this work.”

This story will be updated on Monday with engagement numbers from The Barn’s weekend-long campaign.

By Peter Osborne

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