New Juventus Brand Puts Business Above Fans

Juventus, one of the world’s most iconic football clubs, have taken a bold and polarising move as they aim to accelerate their transition from sports team to commercial brand.

The bianconeri, founded in 1897,  launched a complete overhaul of their visual identity  or dare I say it, brand  in order to extend their commercial appeal beyond the core fan base to a wider, global audience.

“Passionate fans. Multiple UEFA Cup wins. Huge potential for growing an international audience. Juventus, one of the world’s best-known football clubs, was well-placed to grow as a team, but their ambitions were higher. It’s one thing to succeed at entertaining your fans. It’s another to build upon that success to become an icon for a wider audience.”

Text via the Interbrand project page.

New Juventus football logo, brand and visual identity.
New Juventus crest.

The project has been built around a campaign called Black and White and More, and it’s taken over one year for the Milan office of Interbrand to complete. The new identity was launched at a glamorous ceremony in Milan not Turin home of rivals Internazionale, with whom Juventus contest the Derby d’Italia. The event was more Hollywood Premiere than football press conference, and the wonderfully over-the-top launch video could almost be a trailer for the latest blockbuster movie.

In addition to the logo, a custom font family called Juventus Fans has been created, which includes the standard light, regular and bold forms, as well as a stretched variation, which is used in the wordmark below.

New Juventus logo wordmark detail.
New Juventus wordmark.

Going Beyond Football

“Juventus has crafted a revolutionary growth plan—launched during the inaugural ‘Black and White and More’ event and sustained by a new brand strategy and identity. Juventus aims to distil its essence into far-reaching experiences which can appeal to the football fan while being highly relevant to entertainment enthusiasts who are further away from football as a sport. The new logo is iconic and universal. It’s bold enough to make a statement, but flexible enough to appear alongside a wide range of new experiences—in the stadium and beyond.”

Text via the Interbrand project page.

This rebrand goes way beyond football and the club’s new logo has been designed so that it can be applied in a multitude of ways; fashion, jewelry, sports, bars and cafes. Whether you like it or not, Juventus is no longer a football club: it’s a premium lifestyle brand.

New Juventus logo skis.
Jewelry, fashion, bars and skis; Juve is now a premium lifestyle brand. (Images via Interbrand, brandemia, and Juventus.)

American Franchises V European Clubs

In American sports, teams are called franchises, club badges are called logos, and the complete brand overhaul witnessed now in Juventus’ case is not uncommon. There is also a long history of business dictating a team’s identity  and even location. Take basketball’s most famous team, the LA Lakers, and ask yourself what Los Angeles and lakes have in common? Well, not a lot. That’s because the team was founded in Minnesota as the Minneapolis Lakers, in reference to the state’s nickname, the Land of 10,000 Lakes. But when owner Bob Short felt attendances were too low, he simply moved the franchise to California.

But this is European football. Despite the mass-commercialisation of the game over the last two decades, some values remain holier than any amount of money; one of those is tradition. A football team should never just move cities. A club name should never just change. And the crest that is worn over the hearts of fans and players should never become a logo that is the face of a new business brand.

“The new identity launched in Milan on January 16, 2017, the first of many premier, immersive Juventus events. The new identity will then follow the team to showcase future digital, social, and retail experiences to loyal supporters, soccer enthusiasts, business partners, and entertainment enthusiasts. Juventus’s move is unprecedented—to become recognized for more than their performance on the field, but as a universal symbol for perseverance, ambition, and premium Italian style.”

Text via the Interbrand project page.

The scale of the transformation becomes more apparent when you look at the existing badges of Italy’s Serie A clubs, which also includes Juventus’ previous crest. Many of them look as if they haven’t been touched since they were first crafted.

Italian Serie A football club badges, crests and logos.
Crests of Italian Serie A clubs. (Image via sportslogos.net)

If we remove sports from the equation I actually love the work that has been done. But the problem is that you can’t remove sports from Juventus. And this is not just sport, it’s football. Only true fans will understand what the Juventus crests means, and they’re not happy with the new logo. Unfortunately for The Old Lady and her fans, they weren’t the ones with the power to make such a major decision.

As visually stunning as this work is, the beautiful game just got a little more ugly.

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