10 of the Best Sporting Rebrands of 2018
With 2018 coming to an end we look back at the 10 best sports rebrands of the year listed below in no particular order. With trends of movement, simplicity, dynamism, strength and friendliness running through these rebrands you can see accessibility and memorability has been the focus. You can also see two clear trends in typography, round sometimes lowercase fonts or square, angular uppercase fonts and simple, bright or bold colours.
The US open rebrand designed by New York-based Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv feels revitalised, energised and modernised. The transition from a Serif to Sans Serif gives this logo a universal appeal as does the colour palette with vibrant yellow and a lighter friendlier blue.
The power of this logo is in its simplicity which creates something memorable and captures the essence of the sport, as you can see above its usage lends itself to all mediums and size constrictions.
Rebranding the worlds most loved football league whilst keeping its 20+ year heritage intact is a delicate balancing act that as Leeds Utd will attest can easily miss the mark. In this case, Design Studio have done an amazing job of bringing the lion icon into modern times that can be used across all platforms and devices seamlessly.
This logo feels vibrant, fresh and somehow stays true to the roots of the competition, it is also matched with a bright colour palette that adds energy and excitement to the mark. The font choice (nouveau geometric sans serif) changes from the previous stern uppercase version to something more friendlier and inclusive which works really well with the lion head icon.
The newest team in the MLS FC Cincinnati have had quite a year with a new stadium in the works and officially unveiling this rebrand for their first MLS season in 2019. The new logo is symbolic in many ways and the design team at Interbrand have woven the story of the team and the city into this logo with fine details that elevate this crest to another level. This logo celebrates the cities German roots, the crown is a nod to the ‘Queen City’, the wing tips show how many seasons it took FC Cincinnati to reach the MLS and the 7 points of the main are to represent the seven hills of Cincinnati.
The fine touches to this crest really have been born out of a passion and pride for the city of Cincinnati and it is something the team will be honoured to wear creating the important union between sports team and fans.
The new branding for the GB National Basketball team is a great example of how much a good rebrand can change your perception. if you compare the previous logo to the new one you can see how much more dynamic, professional and established the new brand feels. The ball icon was created by painting basketballs and throwing them against a wall then digitising the results this adds a layer of texture, fun and explosiveness which is refreshing to see today with most brands going for flat and minimalist design.
The branding manages to keep the feeling of excitement and dynamism running through the multi-use cases above whilst championing the Union Jack colour palette and the ‘Make Your Mark’ slogan.
Sky Sports shifted it’s approach earlier this year when it changed it’s channel names to that of the sport it would be covering e.g Sky Sports Premier League along with this change they decided to rebrand to make the whole identity work together. Sky’s creative team worked with Nomad on the rebrand. The genius behind the rebrand is that each the channels has it’s own font slightly modified from the others giving each channel a distinct personality whilst staying true to the overall brand. The main logos movement away from uppercase to lowercase is a trend at the moment to increase the feeling of inclusivity and accessibility for the channels.
Above is the font created for the Premier League channel and how this works with the main logo, each channel also has it’s own colour palette which again makes it distinguishable from the others. Below is an example of the channel extensions to the main Sky Sports logo which continues with the lowercase theme on all bar the Premier League and Formula 1 channels which use their own logos.
The new logo is a bold and simple logo that manages to communicate the essence of the team and sport. Rugby is about grit and determination with no bells and whistles this logo and the wider branding looks to get this across, you can see the complexity of the previous logo is less memorable, flexible and iconic than the new version. The new logo feels more like a badge than the previous one being encased in an angular shield that mirrors the angular maple leaf. The Vancouver based Hulse and Durrell designed this along with many other Canadian national teams brands in which they have also echoed the angular maple leaf.
The font choice is New Grotesk Square Six and is always used in caps for headlines this with the simple 3 colour (red white and black) colour palette makes for a very strong, decisive brand.
The rebrand for the Uefa Europa league was built around the idea of the energy wave (see below) this distinctive angular wave was built using the angles of the real trophy to construct a wave that represents the emotion of competing and watching the Europa league. The peaks of the wave represent the highs, wins and achievement the troughs represent the lows and losses and the whole thing is slanted or moving forward to represent progression throughout the tournament. Design by Turquoise
This rebrand uses only Black and Orange for its colour palette with accents of Orange to create distinction. A new slab serif font was created for the project that would work with the existing Europa League logo font. All in all the wave is a nice concept that is instantly recognisable and stands out on the black and it it’s animated incarnations.
Fox Sports Holland
The concept for the new Fox Sports Holland rebrand by DixonBaxi was based on the idea of Total Football a way of playing the game synonymous with Dutch football. Total football is where the entire team works together to create a system that allows free movement and self-expression. The branding has been simplified compared to the previous brand which was heavily influenced by its American counterpart with the removal of gradients, shine and the badge frame the logo was housed in. The new logo uses a slightly friendlier font for the word ‘sports’ than the previous and it fits into the new identity system seamlessly.
The new identity system is like Total football extremely flexible and based on a moveable grid the colours are bold and the font is minimal but it manages to convey a lot using few elements. A new bespoke typeface was designed for the project called Sparta a square and monospaced font that works within the grid system.
US Ski and Snowboard
The rebrand for US Ski & Snowboard is an example of a brand that needs to be an umbrella for different disciplines and teams that compete for the US. The previous logo is confusing and awkward without it being instantly clear what it is for. The new logo goes on to rectify this with a multipurpose mark that would be at home on the uniform of a competitor, side of a tour bus or just the icon on your phone.
The colours are in keeping with the US flag (no yellow like in the previous) and the logo has lots of fine details all with meaning behind them. The US is set over the top of the logo to signify it holds many teams, the 3 stars are to represent the podium finish, the red lines are a nod to the US flag and insinuate speed all backed up by two mountain peaks that help tell the story of the team. Case study here
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Not strictly a full rebrand but more of a brand refinement and extension Wolverhampton Wanderers FC have added a series of 3d wolf heads to be used in future branding, marketing and communications globally. The wolf head is a nod to Wolverhampton’s heritage of ironmongery whilst still modernised and as a way to breathe life into the angular wolf logo which has been a staple of the badge in one form or another since the ’70s.
Along with the 3d wolfs head the design team behind the rebrand also created two distinct typefaces based on the logo’s angular wolfs head. These typefaces are again a nod to the industrial history of the city with a bold and condensed feel.
Sports Brands are shifting further and further away from gradients, highlights and complexity and instead shifting towards simplicity, memorability and functionality, using interesting patterns, textures and real-world objects as inspiration when flat design needs a lift. You can see this with the use of the 3D wolfs head and the way GB Basketball created their icon.
Brand identity systems that work seamlessly across the digital and non-digital platforms in innovative ways is something I expect to see more of in 2019. With the growth in AR and VR, this will be the start of a new way of thinking about your brand in these digitally branded spaces and how experiential branding will need to come into play and make sense for your brand going forward.
With the growth of the industry predicted to increase in 2019 and the marketplace becoming more crowded than ever it might be worth considering your branding, your brand’s position and strategy to tackle the competition. If you’d like to get your edge, define your brand and grow your business please schedule a call today and let’s make 2019 your best year yet – Schedule a call .
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