7 of the best sporting rebrands of 2019
We look back at the 7 best sports rebrands of the 2019 listed below in no particular order.
Womens Sport Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation rebrand has a retro feel that pulls inspiration from athletics and the Olympics. The logo is more flexible with the ability for them to use just the WSF icon at smaller sizes such as social media profile pictures. The track style icon is also used in the wider brand identity.
Not only is the logo and brand identity system well designed and iconic but the overall branding is driven by purpose, with a clear mission in place which creates an impactful one-two punch.
You can see the identity system in action on their website – Women’s Sports Foundation
CEV European Volleyball Confederation
Rebranding the institution that oversees European volleyball and organises all European competitions including 56 nations, established since 1963 is not an easy prospect. The rebrand itself by Alphabet has built out a simple geometric identity system that lends itself easily to being extended and a multitude of use cases. The way the shapes fit together and interact work well in animated form morphing between the main logo and representations of the nations involved.
They used the flags of these nations as inspiration for the volley mark and the trajectory of the ball during games, these angular shapes are see-through this identity and the custom font.
The logo is vibrant, energetic and grounded it does a good job of representing this fast past explosive sport. This is a great example of a flexible, future-proof brand identity that can grow with the sport.
Reebok has unified its brand under one umbrella logo which is an updated version of the iconic ‘vector’ logo first used in the early ’90s. They have redrawn the vector and changed the angles along with reducing the weight of the type and size of the type. This might seem a pointless venture returning to a previous identity but in fact, it is a course correction. They are using the old logo to tie the brand’s rich heritage to its future and tap into the iconic nature of the original mark.
The identity system is simple, strong and effective tapping into a retro and traditionalist vibe whilst still feeling fresh and modern is design.
“Under a unified banner, all of our products and experiences will tell a single story that is clear and consistent,” said Karen Reuther, VP of Creative Direction. “The Vector was created as a logo version of the iconic Reebok side stripes and cross-check design that dates back more than fifty years. It’s compelling, dynamic and powerfully linked to some of our greatest cultural moments” – Read the full Reebok press release
The IAAF unveiled a new name and new brand identity after the organisation’s restructuring and shift to become a more creative and positive face for the sport. The new identity is bright, colourful and like with the Women’s sports foundation uses repeating lines to create the effect of lanes on a running track. The wider identity system incorporates these lines to represent different aspects of track and field.
IAAF unveils new name and logo. pic.twitter.com/Fz4lNjhutW
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) June 9, 2019
The icon is built with three main components – The “W” of World, which also symbolizes the arms of an athlete raised in a sign of victory; the Athletics “A” (athletics), which is also the athlete’s goal as he sets out to launch; and a circular arc overhanging these two letters to represent the entire sporting community that is coming together – taken from the World Athletics press release
The idea behind the logo was to break the silhouette out of the box and to differentiate it from the NBA and others affiliated with the NBA. “They took the silhouette out of the box which is a massive breakthrough as she was perceived totally different,” [WNBA chief operating officer Christy Hedgpeth] said. “She was free, there was more movement there, taking up more space. She’s more athletic, longer physique. This is basketball on our terms. That was a phrase that really resonated with the players. That’s really symbolic in that regard.” – Taken from Washington post.
The logo is simple but strong driven by purpose this is a great example of how focusing the visual identity to reflect the core brand purpose can have great results.
The new monogram logo for the Duquesne Dukes has managed to modernise the existing logo whilst still paying homage to heritage. The bold angular shapes give the monogram a gothic feel that inspires the rest of the identity system and ties the rebrand into the wider university identity. The wordmark (below) shares these characteristics as does the custom-designed font with its strong and aggressive appearance and spiked serifs.
The colours work well together feeling distinctly athletic, sports and university in aesthetic. Overall this is a comprehensive and strong rebrand that pairs an iconic monogram with a distinctive font wordmark and identity system.
The rebrand for the Montreal Alouettes has a similar process to that of the Dukes above, taking a dated overcomplicated existing identity and simplifying it to form an iconic memorable rebrand. The rebrand was about strengthening the connection between the team and the city.
“Taking this step goes well beyond a rebranding exercise; we have defined the identity of the entire organization,” said Alouettes President and CEO Patrick Boivin. “This new identity can be summarized in one word: MontreALS. We came to the conclusion that our DNA must reflect Montreal’s DNA even more. We intend on better connecting with Montrealers in different areas that define our city such as music, gastronomy, fashion and culture, among other things.” – From the Alouettes press release for the rebrand
The new logo successfully pairs a strong icon with bold type and distinctive colours. The icon itself manages to illustrate the M for Montreal a plane representing the Alouette squadron a bird, a fleur de lys from the province of Quebec’s emblem and the Montreal’s city emblem.
Another great example of a strong rebrand focusing on simple iconic shapes, colours and design elements to translate the brand.
There are some great examples here of what can be done if you use simple, bold iconic colours and shapes for your brand and how this can translate to the wider identity system. With trends towards simplicity, geometric shapes, flat design and icons, becoming increasingly popular in 2020 expect to see more brands and clubs adopting these styles.
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