Canadian Packaging

Berlin Packaging gets sticky

Wins WorldStar Packaging Award for Mission Athletecare’s COURT GRIP package.


December 20, 2012
by Canadian Packaging Staff

CHICAGO—Berlin Packaging, a leading full-service supplier of plastic, glass, and metal containers and closures, announced today that it has been honored with a 2013 WorldStar Packaging Award for its work on the custom package for Mission Athletecare’s COURT GRIP, a shoe traction product for basketball courts and other indoor court surfaces (see photo above).
The striking silver and black bottle with an extreme 45-degree neck was one of only nine U.S. packages and 159 worldwide to earn the commendation, which recognizes the best packaging on the globe.

The award marked Berlin Packaging’s second consecutive WorldStar honor. The company also won a 2012 WorldStar Award for a hand soap package for PampersKandoo brand. That custom frog-shaped container was designed to fit snugly in tub or sink corners for easy do-it-yourself dispensing for children.

The COURT GRIP project—jointly executed by Mission, design agency Revolver New York, and Berlin Packaging’s Studio One Eleven design division—required not only a muscular shelf presence befitting the athlete audience but also an ergonomic solution enabling rapid one-handed application of the COURT GRIP formula to sneaker soles while standing or sitting between plays or quarters. The final package was 100 per cent customized with features including:

  • A contoured, custom-molded HDPE bottle with strategically placed, debossed finger grips to provide a firm hold even for sweaty hands;
  • A radical 45-degree neck architecture – selected after testing to determine the optimal application angle – that required special blow-molding equipment and techniques;
  • A custom applicator with a special cloth bonded to the applicator sponge for durability under repeated use; and
  • An internal valve system to dispense the proper amount of formula when depressed against the shoe sole without squeezing.

Aesthetic features added to maximize shelf impact include groove-like line work suggesting the chiseled muscles on an athlete’s body, a silver overcap embossed with the MISSION logo, a contrasting black neck, and a label printed on a metallic foil substrate that mirrors the silver color motif of the bottle and overcap.

Berlin Packaging also developed the package for a companion product called POWER GRIP that instantly dries hands to provide a more secure and confident grip on the basketball. Both packages are now used and displayed on scoring tables at every National Basketball Association league game through a multi-year partnership with Mission AthleteCare. The products have also been endorsed by the NBA Trainers Association and are approved for play by the National Collegiate Athletic Association as well as for play at the high school level.

“The COURT GRIP product presented unusual design challenges. It was not only a completely new product category with no precedents to follow or adapt, but it also required extensive testing and customization to deliver an ergonomically optimized solution as well as multiple modifications to make the bottle manufacturable,” said Scott Jost, Berlin Packaging’s vice-president of innovation and design. “The WorldStar award recognizes the complexity of the project as well as the aesthetic and functional success of the final package.”

The 2013 WorldStar winners were announced this month in Sweden by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). Awards, which are selected by an expert panel of judges, are given when a package is deemed superior in its category and market and better in its class in execution or innovation compared to others.