In collaboration with renowned artist Futura, Michelob ULTRA has unveiled an exciting limited-edition project to honor the NBA Champions and commemorate their exhilarating season. The partnership between the popular beer brand and the visionary artist will result in a unique bottle design that encapsulates the joy experienced throughout the NBA season.
Futura created a captivating mural featuring 60 meticulously spray-painted Michelob ULTRA bottles as part of this extraordinary venture. This artistic masterpiece will then be deconstructed, with each bottle carefully crafted into a unique collectible. These custom bottles will be exclusive gifts presented to this year’s deserving NBA Champions.
To delve deeper into this fascinating collaboration, Futura has graciously agreed to a virtual interview scheduled for either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. This interview presents an exceptional opportunity to explore the artist’s upcoming projects, reflect on past endeavors, and gain insights into the inspiration behind this remarkable partnership.
The partnership between Michelob ULTRA and Futura underscores the brand’s commitment to celebrating excellence in sports and the creative arts. By combining their expertise, the two entities have created a distinct and innovative tribute to the NBA Champions, ensuring their victory and the joy they brought to fans throughout the season are forever etched in artistic brilliance.
In conversation with The Source, Futura details creating the bottles and the invigoration of the art world in sports.
Can you tell us about your collaboration with Michelob ULTRA for the NBA Championship Bottles? How did this partnership come about, and what attracted you to this project?
I’m really fortunate to have been asked by Michelob ULTRA to create this amazing creation. So we created these bottles for the 2023 champions. The rear half of the bottle is the painted version, and then the front is a label that I designed as well, a more classic graphic labeling with the NBA logo and such. I’m very excited because the championship will be decided in the next ten days. It’s a great opportunity for me to collaborate with Michelob ULTRA and connect to the NBA. I’m a huge sport lifelong New Yorker fan, and even our team, the Knicks, were so close to playing. But, oh well. This project is for the winners who didn’t make it this year, but these go to the Finals participants.
What attracted you to this project?
Really just being a lifelong sports fan. I was talking about how the Knicks haven’t won a championship in 50 years. The Yankees and all these other teams are here, but it still feels like a basketball town after all these years without winning a title. So being with brands like Michelob ULTRA and the NBA, it’s just an elevated stage, it’s an honor, really. The creative part is wonderful, and teaming with Michelob for this art was special in creating this originally painted bottle.
You’re known for this bold and innovative approach. How do you see that coming through in the design of the 60-bottle artwork?
I think with it being a 60-bottle mural, you will see the image as a complete unit. That’s ultimately how I looked at it. The composition of the entirety of the bottles and the frame. My aim was to create it in one piece. So conceptually, there’s the initial piece itself, and if they have a photo of it and frame it, that’s there. Now it’s been disassembled, and it doesn’t exist anymore. All stages of it are conceptually creative steps, resulting in a unique piece for every individual. And I think that’s what’s cool. For me, perhaps I’m someone new that they may discover. And that’s also wonderful in the process. I don’t know every man on the roster, I’ll be honest. I don’t live in those cities, but maybe some of them actually had heard of me. Either way, I think that’s the gift, that’s the presentation. It’s all very beautiful. So as something this creative, I stand behind it and am very proud of it.
Michelob ULTRA positions itself as the MVP of joy and aims to celebrate the joy experienced throughout the NBA season. How did you infuse the concept of joy into your artwork for the Championship Bottles?
There mantra about trying to infuse joy is a wonderful reason why we connected. I see life, and my approach to life and making art is the very same way. Bob Ross introduced joy into the art world. He used that word in terms of making art. Joy, to me, is what gives you pleasure. It’s what you’re more than happy to do, not receiving. I rather be the giver than the recipient. I would like to spread joy, and give joy. It makes me happy to make other people happy in some capacity.
The intersection of arts, sports, and culture is a unique space where your collaboration with Michelob ULTRA occurs. How do you see your art contributing to this intersection, and what role do you believe art plays in sports and culture?
In a sense that art is just that powerful, visual expression. Not just from a marketing design point of view, logos, and flashing lights. You can see the Michelob ULTRA brand is very much connected to the NBA. You see the commercials that run concurrently with games. You see the logos flashing when foul shots are being made. I don’t want to say that there is an urban twist but a bit of street graphics and influences in the game, and vice versa. When you look at sports throughout my lifetime, stars always wanted to be with stars. In the art world, that’s been rising in the last quarter century, there was awareness of our culture. So I think you see more of it out there now. You look at the courtside of these games in the last ten years, and you see the who’s who of music, film, and art thing was more of that’s just decoration rather than the recognition it deserves. I know who I am in that story
I know who I am in that whole story, and, once again, it’s like, uh, I’m grateful because it means that I’m being recognized on a larger scale, you know? Um, but then I approach this whole thing too, you know, I, I’m not, I’m not like ego boy, you know? So it doesn’t, it just, it, it makes me feel good because it’s some validation, of course, of my story and what I’ve done over my timeline. But, you know, um, I only speak about it when it’s appropriate. You know, I’m, I’m not gonna put myself on blast and, you know, but I anticipate this thing will, this thing will help in, you know, getting some awareness, uh, of who I am out there. And that’s really cool too.
What excites you about entering collaborations like this with Michelob Ultra?
It’s just such an elevated opportunity. It wasn’t difficult to get excited about this opportunity. Michelob has a huge audience, and we are giving some joy to this campaign. The bottles are really beautiful and unique. Very special. The reveal will be incredible.