eSports Branding tips from a Pro Sports Branding expert

Red Bull (always so ahead of the game) grabbed some time with Todd Radom, a Pro Sports Branding expert who’s worked on NBA, NFL, and MLB looks, to talk about eSports branding. It’s a long interview that’s mostly reviews of 2014 eSports visual identities, but there are some important snippets — check below.

On designing team logos:

“This work is used in so many places. The visibility is so pronounced. There’s a structure to sports design in the sense that a logo is a logo for a consumer brand in general, but when it comes to sports this is a lifestyle thing. People are tribal in their allegiances to their sports teams and to franchises. So to take this and create what might be one logo and then extend it to a series of visual assets that are going to be big, small, broadcast, for the web, carved into metal, painted on the field of play — he requirements and criteria are quite different to designing for any other type of project.”

On designing for eSports, which don’t have a physical home town to inspire visual identity:

“I think you would need to talk about the demographics first and foremost. There’s a very specific group as I know it — a male audience of a certain age — who really hit the core of it, but at the same time I would think you would want to reach out to people who might be considered on the fringes and be as inclusive as possible without losing that core.”

Translation: get a logo other 2K players will like, but one that won’t offend your mom.

On losing teams with winning designs:

“In the sports world you can come up with the strongest piece of design imaginable, but if it’s attached to a stinker of a team associated with bad thoughts and memories it could fail on that level. On the other hand, a piece of art that gets attached to something wonderful that people love? Your work gains equity by dumb luck because of what’s happened on the field of play.

That’s the majority of what’s relevant to 2K players, but again, the whole piece is an interesting review. It’s a bit dated (and you can tell he doesn’t have much knowledge of the eSports branding space), but there’s something to be learned.

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