Changing sports logos reflect the changing world of sports entertainment

Written By:  •  Thursday, May 18, 2017

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The world of sport is constantly evolving. And in the past two decades or so, it has changed more than ever. The profile of competitions such as the English Premier League has revolutionized the game itself. The advent of the internet age has ensured that coverage of sport, fan interaction with sport and ultimately, the money revolving around sport has increased dramatically.

The growth in media rights deals, thanks to TV and online coverage, means that financial experts believe the sports market in North America will be worth $73.5 billion by 2019, compared to $60.5 billion in 2014. And it’s a trend that reaches far beyond North America. Last year, the English Premier League concluded a global TV rights deal worth £10.4 billion. And the lucrative Indian Premier League has also negotiated expensive TV contracts across the world to broadcast the high-profile cricket league.

All of this has also had an impact on secondary sports entertainment industries. Well-known sports teams now expect to sell merchandise across the world, not just to their home countries, leveraging their global brands. Consequently, the sports betting industry has also grown hugely. Greater interest in sports events across the world means that there is a greater desire to be a part of the action and consequently to place a bet.

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The growing demand for reliable sports betting options, led to the creation of some great resources, such as this Bet356 casino review which gives real and valuable insights into one of the world’s top online sports books, allowing users to find odds on more than 25 sports and hundreds of markets across the world.

So it is no wonder that these massive changes in the sporting world have also had a profound impact on sports logos too. In general, as sports clubs and franchises have received greater media exposure, they have sought to simplify their logos. Presumably, the branding concept behind this trend is the notion that simple equals greater recognition and consequently more revenue. In North American sports, the Philadelphia 76ers provide an excellent example. For decades, their uniforms had been emblazoned with a simple red, white and blue “Sixers”. However, when the NBA went global in the 1990s, a re-think took place. The word “Sixers” has since had an ornamental star and a ‘swoosh’ added for good effect.

Meanwhile, old-time NFL fans will most likely look back fondly at the New England Patriots logo which appeared on player helmets until the early 1990s. Essentially, it was a cartoon version of a Patriots player. It seems rather quaint now, but it is unsurprising that the marketing brains behind the franchise decided on a re-design. The familiar abstract red, white and blue head has coincided with the Patriots’ most successful ever period.

Such re-designs are not limited to North American sports. On the other side of the Atlantic, the global exposure of the English Premier League has seen some notable logo re-designs. In 2014, West Ham streamlined their logo. They kept the hammer symbol, but dispensed with the image of the famous Boleyn Castle, sparking discontent from supporters. In the early 2000s, Arsenal faced a similar scenario, simplifying their traditional logo. It still featured the familiar canon symbol, but dropped the coat of arms of the borough of Islington, plus a Latin motto. Many fans were unhappy that they hadn’t been consulted over the change, but merchandise sales are thought to have increased since then.

Perhaps it’s a quirk of English football, but several top clubs have dropped a Latin motto from their logo. And in the cases of Everton and Manchester City, the move has not gone down well with supporters. In the case of Everton, they decided to reinstate “Nil satis nisi optimum” – “Only the best is good enough”. It just goes to show that in the new and ever-changing world of sports entertainment, the old cannot always be forgotten forever.

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