Partially designed by Cooper Carry, the facility brings online media to life for the revolutionary sports league
Taking inspiration from the vibrant cityscape of Atlanta and stemming from its digitally native roots, transformative basketball league Overtime Elite unveiled its new immersive learning facility and basketball arena in Atlantic Station in October 2021. Cooper Carry’s Experiential Graphic Design and Interior Design Studios facilitated the creation of the offsite living quarters for the players as well as the interior elements of the teaching, training, and sports facility; with the exception of the gameday showcourt. The one-of-a-kind arena features interactive artwork, motivational signage, and lounge spaces throughout the 103,000-square-foot facility.
Located in the heart of Atlanta at mixed-use destination Atlantic Station, Overtime Elite played its first games in October 2021. The league cites the city’s diverse population, proximity to local colleges and access to music and entertainment resources as deciding factors for the location. The league caters to the nation’s top players from rising juniors to post graduates, paying them a minimum salary of $100,000 and providing them with equity in the program.
Cooper Carry’s Director of Experiential Graphic Design, Paul Bowman, and Brian Parker, Principal of the Interior Design Studio, led the design of the interiors, wayfinding and branded graphics used throughout the space. The Atlanta-based firm was chosen to collaborate on the project because of its long-standing reputation in Atlanta and its collaborative mixed-use ecosystem with multiple studios and services, allowing them to seamlessly work together quickly and efficiently to design unique spaces. The prefabricated basketball facility was designed and fabricated offsite, and then assembled in Atlanta in just five months.
“Overtime originated online; they have a strong social media presence and a well-established brand and it was important to showcase that throughout the space,” said Bowman. “Our job was to make their brand come alive in the built environment. From the moment you walk in the front door to the time you leave, you are reminded of the values and identity of Overtime Elite and everything they represent.”
In the facility’s reception area, Cooper Carry created an immersive arrival experience by animating Overtime Elite’s logo with pulses of light utilizing the brand colors of Gameday Teal and Elite Orange. Leading from the lobby into the practice court is the “Hype Hall” corridor, a runway lined with backlit, life-size portraits of the league’s players on a gradient mural of Overtime Elite colors. The colors transition into black and visitors are greeted by a black-and-white image of an OTE player before entering the practice court.
Artwork is a key factor used in the design strategy of the facility. Located outside of the coach’s lounge is an interactive art piece with moveable words on wooden ledges that represent the values of OTE and the urban landscape of Atlanta like “courage” and “vibe.” Leading up the staircase is a wallcovering with the story of Overtime, with bolded phrases set to inspire the players. Signage and wayfinding are also important tools used to reinforce the brand, from room identification signage to banners displayed in the practice court, complementary brand patterns are used in all aspects of the facility.
In the lounge spaces of the residential areas, Cooper Carry focused on the history of Atlanta utilizing the themes of civil rights, food and music. Custom wall patterns like footprints representing protests and voting rights are used throughout. Quotes from civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis as well as Atlanta landmarks are also displayed on the walls to remind the players of the history of the new city in which they reside.
“These players are coming from all over the world, so creating an environment where they both feel inspired and at home was incredibly important when designing the facility,” said Anna Karefa-Johnson, VP of Brand Experience and Community Engagement for Overtime Elite. “They not only play basketball here, but they live, learn and hang out here seven days a week. We worked with the Cooper Carry team to cultivate an inclusive place utilizing our three pillars: basketball development, education and economic empowerment; which is evidently shown throughout the various spaces.”
Overtime Elite is currently in season playing against various schools across the country. The Cooper Carry team has completed phase one of the overall design, with phase two and three slated for completion in 2022. For more information on Overtime Elite, please visit overtimeelite.com. To learn more about Cooper Carry, visit their website at coopercarry.com
ABOUT Cooper Carry
Cooper Carry provides architecture, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, experiential graphic design, branding and sustainability consulting services. Founded in 1960, the firm specializes in the design of education, government, hospitality, mixed-use, office, residential, restaurants, retail, senior living, science + technology, and transit projects. The firm has designed projects in 45 states and globally in the Caribbean, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Central America. Cooper Carry approaches its work as a collaborative ecosystem. Its multiple studios and services come together daily to provide each project the depth of knowledge needed to meet and exceed objectives. Cooper Carry’s leaders are advocates and authorities for their specialties, empowered by decades of expertise to make decisions that prioritize placemaking, civic space, and the greater good of communities, tenants, residents and visitors. For more information, visit Cooper Carry’s website at coopercarry.com and follow the design firm on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.