Shortly after Real Madrid celebrated its win of the UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool, the league has unveiled its new brand for the 2018/19 season. The new UEFA Champions League brand has a vibrant new look, based on a concept called ‘Highlighting moments that make the ultimate stage’.
The connected stars from the ‘starball’ in the league’s logo are the centrepiece of this new brand identity. The concept captures the iconic moments of extraordinary feats of skill and ability that make UEFA Champions League match nights ones to watch.
According to the league, the branding has been designed to be more flexible, while building on established elements such as the anthem, the stadium and the trophy. The blue colour palette, which is derived from UEFA Champions League match nights, has been enriched with new accent colours – magenta and cyan – to support the fresher look.
The identity was developed in collaboration with UEFA’s marketing partner, Team Marketing AG, and the London-based creative agency DesignStudio.
Said Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA: “The UEFA Champions League is a globally recognised brand in football, sports and entertainment. This brand refresh maximises the opportunities to engage with fans and stakeholders across new technologies and platforms.”
The refined brand identity was created to support digital, mobile and social media platforms. The new assets, according to UEFA, allow for an easier, scalable brand integration on smaller surfaces and mobile devices. The level of detail on the ‘ultimate stage’ stadium and ‘starball’ visuals has been enhanced to cater for a richer ultra-high-definition television experience.
A brand film highlights all the new elements, as well as capturing the excitement of the game. A booming orchestral and choral score ushers in a giant ball-shaped flag being waved as graphic stars weave throughout live action shots, highlighting “creativity…excellence…inspiration…and moments that transcend imagination.”
UEFA calls the brand look its “boldest change in years.” The league revisits its competition brand identity every three years, in sync with the commercial cycle of broadcast and sponsorship rights. But compared with previous brand identity updates, the new design is one the organization says is a greater leap forward. While the ‘starball’ visual gains importance in the new identity, the distinct and successful ‘ultimate stage’ arena still features in the branding package.
Mark Hyde, head of design, BT Sport, said of the design: “Confident, contemporary and courageous. With refined elegance and a vibrant injection of colour, the UEFA Champions League brand upholds its position as possibly the most iconic of sporting identities.”
The new identity has been designed to support a large range of stakeholders, including sponsors, broadcasters, licensees and clubs. A new, more flexible colour co-branding system has been introduced to give commercial partners the opportunity to tailor the brand identity to their own needs, while ensuring consistency of the look and feel across multiple touch points.
Hans Erik Tuijt, global sponsorship director, Heineken said: “The branding is fresh and appealing. It gives the competition a new, contemporary look while remaining premium.”
Credit: The Drum