How to Brand a Football Club - 5 Steps
Updated: Jan 11
Football clubs are everywhere; whether they’re on the pitch itself or the media,
football clubs are easily identified by their strip colours and distinctive logos. Bates Design have worked with two football clubs; from conception to completion. Providing us with a wealth of knowledge in both audience perception and stakeholder relationships, we have compiled 5 key considerations when it comes to branding a football club.
Research & Consultation “Do your research” they said! Do exactly this and you’ll find yourself stumbling across a vast range of ideas and points of influence to assist you in identifying what you truly want your logo/badge to represent. Delving into the history of the football club and its location is without a doubt a priority when it comes to forming your initial ideas. Doing this will provide you with an insight into the evolution of the club, its following and what the club once was. Top Tip: Social listening is an effective method of understanding what your audience wants. More often than not, your fanbase will be active users of social media; perhaps there’s a Facebook Group or an unofficial Twitter account in use showcasing what your audience love about the club? If such fixtures are in place, be sure to check them out and see what positive messages people are shouting about. This will help you recognise particular elements that matter when it comes to finalising your new logo/brand ideas.
Putting Pen to Paper So, you’ve seen a landmark that you could possibly use, or maybe you’ve experimented with the perfect colour combination? No matter what it is, eccentric or basic, it’s time to create visuals for how the concepts can develop into the final brand/logo. Creativity is key. Use apps such as Pinterest to fully immerse yourself into the world of inspiration. Search a handful of hashtags on Instagram and see what you find. Once you’ve completed this, document them and collaborate ideas into groups. You’ll start to unfold multiple ideas. Some may even merge together and create the perfect partnership. Some may not. Top Tip: Try to limit your final ideas to three - maximum. This way, you can experiment with different types of concepts whilst allowing yourself the capacity to work towards a goal. Don’t forget that presentation is also important, therefore you must ensure that designs can be contextualised. Produce mock-ups, see how your designs look on the kit itself; can you see the badge/logo worn on the club’s players? Yes? Keep the design in your top three.
Feedback Never Hurt You’ve submitted your designs and now you’re sitting around waiting for feedback. Remember, whether the feedback is good, bad, ugly, or indifferent, gaining comments about your work are always a great help. Let us tell you why. Firstly, they allow you to re-understand what the client wants. Secondly, it provides you with the devices to deliver a refined proposal when it comes to amending designs. Finally, it allows you to start a meaningful dialogue with the club itself. Football clubs are often filled with big personalities who hold passion and pride in their team, so take no offence if you are provided with feedback you weren’t expecting; they simply want the best for their club. Top Tip: Don’t forget that you’re the designer. You’re the creative. You possess the eye for compelling visuals. So, don’t be afraid to challenge accordingly. If you feel passionate about a particular style, make it clear. Let them know why and make sure you validate your points with examples of your previous work.
Refine, refine, refine You’ve exchanged conversation with the football club, you now know which idea they are steering towards - now it’s time to refine the design. This is your time to exert the perfectionist that you are. Confirm the minor details and crack on with making those amendments and changes. Once this is completed, start to think about branded environments, promotional material, digital and social media marketing. How does the brand present itself amongst these platforms? Have a play and create visuals that clearly show your client what could be! Top Tip: Take a look at what other football clubs offer their fanbase, whether it be merchandise or competitions via social media, make sure you include such examples in your final presentation. It’s important that the decision makers can see how their logo/brand looks within its context. Provide them with that and we can assure you that you’ll produce the ‘wow’ factor.
Time for the Final It’s final presentation time! Up until now, you’ve conducted and completed a full background research on the club and its location; you’ve created moodboard after moodboard for your designs; you’ve narrowed these ideas down to three core ideas; in collaboration with the club, you’ve identified the best of the three; you’ve made some final changes… now what? Present your finalised design with confidence. You’ve put in the hours, the determination and the overall strong work ethic. There’s simply no stopping you now. Top Tip: Whether it’s via email or face-to-face, always leave the presentation with the intention to see/hear from your clients again - because you may cross paths again or you may be a point of call for further branding exercises. Europa Point FC Karlstad United BK