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Bringing Boxing Into the Fold

HBO will punch up the look of its sports and pro-boxing divisions with new logos and on-air graphics for its three fight series, World Championship Boxing, Boxing After Dark and HBO Pay Per View.

The new branding campaign, which fully incorporates the traditional HBO logo into all three franchises, will debut with the network’s Feb. 16 World Championship Boxing telecast of the Adrian Boner-Gavin Rees lightweight championship fight.

Unlike previous iterations, in which the boxing franchise looked to establish its own brand identity, HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said the new branding — created in tandem with brand consultant and creative agency Troika — better integrates the boxing shows into the overall HBO brand.

“We wanted to make sure we took full advantage of the power of HBO and make the viewers feel like they’re in an HBO environment,” Hershman said of the boxing franchises. “We also wanted to modernize the look, so that it looks sharp and beautiful.” 

While the three boxing franchises will carry HBO’s logo, each will have unique features regarding color, lighting and imagery, according to Bill McCullough, creative director for HBO Sports.

In addition, the premium channel will replace the shows’ opening montage of boxing highlights and training clips with images of HBO production crews driving an HBO Sports-branded production truck to a live fight venue and setting up equipment to televise a boxing event, according to McCullough.

“We wanted to point the camera back at HBO and take a look how a boxing telecast gets on the air,” McCullough said.

The new, more-streamlined on-air text graphics for features like “The Tale of The Tape” or the round countdown clock, will allow HBO to integrate more social media elements when necessary, Hershman said. “It allows us to do a lot more things [graphically] without intruding into the telecast.”

HBO Boxing’s new on-air look will help launch a packed schedule of boxing over the next three months, featuring several popular, up-and-coming fighters.

After the Feb. 16 Broner-Rees bout, the network will televise a Nov. 9 tripleheader telecast headlined by the Tavoris Cloud-Bernard Hopkins light heavyweight fight, followed the next Saturday by the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Ruslan Provodnikov welterweight championship bout.

HBO’s March 30 BoxingAfter Dark fight card will be headlined by the much-anticipated rematch between junior lightweights Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado.

Middleweight titleholder Sergio Martinez will fight Martin Murray on April 27, while featherweight champion Nonito Donaire will fight on an as yet determined April fight card.

Hershman said HBO plans to offer PPV boxing cards in 2013, but has yet to schedule any for the year.