Recently the Premier League has revealed a new brand look as it moves away from a title sponsorship model to focus on communicating the stories around its players, communities and clubs both on and off the pitch.
The new digital-first identity unites both the competition and the organisation for the first time, and has been created to work across broadcast, mobile and web globally. The update by design consultancies DesignStudio and Robin Brand Consultants is a “fundamental” shift away from the league’s corporate image to a more accessible and playful positioning
The Premier League has been sponsored by Barclays since 2007/08 and this is the first change of logo in over a decade. The move from Barclays opened an opportunity to review the brand’s positioning and its look moving forward as well as showing that TV and secondary sponsorships are enough to fund their push for global expansion. The league will also now take advantage of a sponsorship structure based around seven sponsors from a variety of sectors and will use these to communicate its story globally beyond only offering them pitch sideboards as well as fit in with the demands of modern society.
The new logo rethinks the iconic Lion symbol, which has been with the Premier League since its inception, along with a change to a softer typeface from its current incarnation. The previous logo and its corporate and rough design were aimed at stereotypical football fans but the new idea aims to look friendly, opening and more family orientated. The flexibility of the new logo for digital and broadcast formats will help in seeking this new target market and expanding the brand through social media and other platforms. Although the obvious Lion King comparisons have been made of the new logo, in the long term a ‘Disneyfication’ of the brand could reap rewards, even if the most ardent football fans are a little underwhelmed by the new look. The Premier League says the new format will also herald a greater link-up with schools and will have a presence in 10,000 primary schools from next season and be in every single primary school by 2021/22.
Apart from the logo design, the Football League will be renamed the English Football League from the start of the new season, seemingly aligning itself with the commonly used EPL (English Premier League) across the globe. There is a large push to bring more viewers from around the world to the lower leagues of English football. Over the years the Football League has taken inspiration from the success of the Premier League since the division’s creation in 1992 and this is no exception.
The Premier League rebrand seems to be inspired by Spotify’s in 2015, using bright complimentary colours and focusing on human interaction, which is sensible as like Spotify with music artists, an image of Manchester United player is not enough to increase interest in the Premier League but giving that image a clear Premier League identity takes the focus away from the player and club and towards the league itself.
The new brand development and strategy brought a fresh take on the iconic Lion while staying true to Premier League’s history and heritage and we look forward to witnessing the innovative story telling from this legendary brand. These new ideas have shown the importance of a collective image, creating interest and increasing money coming into the English game through many different paths. Football has become more and more about business in recent years, with television driving the choices made within all competitions. Whilst the idea of modern commercial football grates on hardcore football fans, the Leagues know that these people aren’t their target market, they want their competitions to be family-friendly and open to everyone. By creating multimedia safe branding, recognisable throughout the world, can only help communicate this through all modern mediums.
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