Ion elevates NWSL to the national stage with design to match

Scripps Sports has unveiled its graphics package for coverage of National Women’s Soccer League games, building on the design created for WNBA coverage on Ion in 2023.

Ion is owned by E.W. Scripps, which produces sports content under the Scripps Sports brand.

“Our mission was to capture the brilliance and impact of women’s soccer through powerful branding, including the first-ever weekly studio show dedicated to the NWSL…showcasing a rich, robust graphics package supporting Scripps Sports’ production of the most NWSL games available on any national network,” said Garrett Cook, vice president of creative design and sports at Scripps Networks.

The Scripps NWSL look takes the WNBA’s base concept of a squared-off diamond and switches to the NWSL logo’s pentagon-shaped outline, often with it repeating to create a tunnel-like feel. That shape also forms the base of the “Saturday Night Soccer” logo used by the broadcast. 

Like the WNBA package, the package generously uses glassy, metallic 3D elements, including detailed iterations of team logos. The Scripps Creative Studio team led the project with Drive Studio and Gameday Creative contributing various elements.

“The result was a visually stunning graphic environment inspired by the shapes and textures of the beautiful game portrayed with precious metals and ornate physical forms, personifying the elegance and strength of some of the most talented athletes on the planet,” said Cook. “This was a labor of love for Scripps Sports and our mighty in house team here at Scripps Creative Studio.”

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While the design does feature a variety of soccer themed elements, they are generally used less than the basketball motif in the WNBA look.

Meanwhile, other parts of the package skillfully blend 3D with a flat design style, often with textural backgrounds blended with rectangular blocks of color and bold sans serif typography, another nod to the WNBA design. 

Transition elements feature a mix of Ion and NWSL logo-inspired looks, while more generic options include a playful ball animation and light flash.

In game, Individual team bumpers take on a more 3D appearance that matches the primary open with the repeating tunnel-like effect around the team’s logo mixed with the metal texture. 

For promotions, team bumpers were created using a combination of the 3D franchise emblem, a dark background featuring a field-inspired circle and a vertical line with color washes in team colors.

There are also variations that allow Ion to show match-ups side-by-side where the vertical line and circular element serve as a literal and figurative dividing line as an animated soccer ball flies in before the light flash is used to exit the sequence. 

When needed, back-to-back matchups can be showcased in promo screens with two 3D team logos stacked on each side of the screen, angled so they face each other. The center line element appears in perspective below, with a lone soccer ball sitting elegantly in the middle, with space for airtime and other details placed between the two logo sets.

Drive Studio was charged with creating the primary open and match graphics, with Gameday behind the promo package, transition elements and logo bumpers.