Old Lady, New Logo.
Thoughts on the Juventus Re-brand.
A wise man once said “Your customers will hate your re-brand”. People don’t tend to take well to change and re-brands generally seem to split people down the middle. We’ve become a generation of binary opinions, something is either great or the worst ever, this is no more exaggerated than when it comes to football and football fans in particular. New signings are written off after a few games, ‘world class’ reputations forged in weeks and managers fired after mere dips in form. There’s no middle ground when it comes to football fan opinions.
I like the new Juve logo, it’s definitely a bold step, a big departure from the football crest, I can see it working well across the range of demands now required of football brands. However I don’t want to write about whether it’s good work or not; design is subjective and the work will divide as re-brands do. I want to look at why.
It doesn’t take long looking through the comments on social media before you come across the first “That took a year? I could have done that!” or “The old one was fine, why change?”
Juventus are trying to compete in Europe against the financial riches of the Premier League and the Spanish giants of Real Madrid and Barcelona. They need a brand that can serve them further than just a crest on a shirt, there is a wealth of money making opportunities out there if the branding works. Just look at the pinnacle of all sports club brands, The New York Yankees. I wouldn’t mind betting there’s people out there who buy Yankees merchandise who don’t even know it’s a baseball club. All sports clubs must aspire to that level, when you look at the brand in that context it’s easy to see where Juventus are coming from and why they’ve spent a year exploring different options.
I think we can be too quick to abandon heritage in the name of advancement but history and progress clash regularly when it comes to the world of football. Fans expect a manager to respect the club traditions and style of play while achieving instant success in a football world that has long since moved on. It’s easy to look back on past success when in reality, all that matters is now. As the above image shows, the new design actually reflects more of the club’s history than people might realise at first. Is this really that important though when it comes to moving your football club forward? Football is unique in that the tribal nature of the fanbase means that they aren’t going to desert you over a badge change. A re-brand might however attract new customers, new fans who associate with your brand in a more modern way, fans from overseas who are attracted by a level of ‘cool’, mixed with success on the pitch.
Like the design or not, don’t discredit the value of the work. Ultimately in a football world where success increasingly comes as a result of the clubs riches off the pitch, this is a move Juventus needed to make to compete long term.