The graphic studio that redesigns football teams

Professional football teams are now brands just like big fashion companies or car manufacturers. Especially in Europe, however, they have characteristics that make them different and not exactly comparable to more traditional companies. One of these hallmarks is cheering, a phenomenon that crosses all social classes, driven by fairly solid sentimental ties that go beyond simple consumer interests: that’s why we’re talking about fans, not customers.

Football support is one of the greatest social phenomena in the modern world, and the most prominent teams have come to move and influence the interests of millions of people around the world. The interests change, however, and must be conquered, which is why large clubs, in order to maintain their size and continue to be noticed, must be able to communicate adequately in the present time.

The teams “seek visibility and greater recognition” explains Mirko Borsche, who with his study in Munich is helping to change the aspect of football, especially in Italy, where he has redesigned the visual identities of Inter and Venice, and of the latter. also came to design the uniforms to be worn next season.

In football, however, it is not as easy to change as in other areas, because cheers and more generally the affiliation with each team can prevent it. There are many cases where clubs have had to withdraw a new logo because it is not appreciated by the fans, or have received much criticism for not respecting the tradition in the design of a jersey. In Rome, the logo that has been used since 2013 is still controversial and was one of the reasons for the anger against the former American property. In Liverpool, protests from Everton fans over a new logo that was too important and without the team’s Latin motto caused the club to pull it back and do it all over again. Similar cases also involved Atletico Madrid and Bordeaux, so much so that it is now almost a practice for clubs to let fans choose logos and shirts from different options.

In other realities, especially among the most famous and jubilant teams, the change is more accepted. Juventus is an example of this, considered the team with the most fans in all of Italy. In 2017, the club presented a new logo – not even in Turin, but in Milan – completely different from those used previously, with the clear intention of making it a brand in every respect. It is no coincidence that Juventus has since launched its own lifestyle clothing line and has partnered with some of the most popular streetwear clothing brands in recent years, such as the Palace.

Juventus was one of the first teams, not only in Italy but also in Europe, to change its image, leaving the style of the old sports brands to accommodate new trends and try to enter new markets, so far with moderate success and a little dissatisfaction. In recent years, many others have followed this direction, especially in Italy, where the links between football and fashion are more fluid and extensive than elsewhere.

It is in this context that Bureau Borsche has entered. Before the German studio, founded in 2007, had created an important space between fashion, art and publishing, before entering football, it had collaborated with brands such as Supreme, Balenciaga and Nike, but also with the Venice Biennale, with it German weekly. The time and with the Bavarian State Opera. His projects – from simple advertising campaigns to more extensive rebranding – are among the most award-winning in the international arena and are often exhibited to the public in dedicated exhibitions.

Between 2020 and 2021, Bureau Borsche had completed the rebranding of Inter, to renew one of the longest-lived badges in professional football, in use at some intervals since 1908. A generic reference to the past has been maintained, but also in this It was clear that the club’s goal was to expand beyond football, to fashion and lifestyle more generally. As in the case of Juventus, Inter subsequently launched its own clothing line and began collaborating with some brands linked to the city of Milan, such as Octopus, Cinelli and Moncler.

“I’ve been playing football all my life and when I come from Munich, my reference team is Bayern,” said Borsche. So far, however, his study has not collaborated with German teams: it was Inter who marked his entry into the football world, which has now continued with Venice, a team that has not only made headlines for returning to Serie A season, but also for it achieved success with its unconventional marketing and communication strategies for the Italian Championship.

The case of Venice is closely linked to its US ownership, which took over the club from bankruptcy in 2015 and then lifted it up to an unexpected promotion to Serie A, where, however, he only stayed a year. However, the American property is in Venice to stay for a long time, and while the sports part tries to find its own direction after the relegation, the creative and commercial part continues to create interest, and to do so it also turned to Borsche’s studio .

Under the leadership of brand director Ted Philipakos and media coordinator Sonya Kondratenko, the Bureau Borsche redesigned the team’s website last year and created part of its corporate identity. A few days ago, the new brand identity was presented with a new logo, which, as Philipakos explained Football Bible, was “essential to the development of the brand given that the previous emblem, designed in 2015, was outdated and problematic”. In addition to this, Bureau Borsche also took care of the design of the new training and competition jerseys – which last year was a phenomenon of this kind – still made in collaboration with the technical sponsor Kappa.

In all likelihood, an increasing number of teams will follow these examples, given the success, to try to keep up with the times; Meanwhile, Bureau Borsche’s next job in football in Greece will be with Kallithea, a team from Athens that, like Venice, is American-owned and trying to follow their commercial and sporting success: last year it was close to being promoted to the Super League, the national team. top spot, finishes in second place, and will try again next season.

– Also read: This year at the Venice Biennale

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