If I was to say that football clubs were behind the brand game, you might think I’m off my rocker. The largest clubs in the world are global brands, which have players who are superstars, instantly recognisable and iconic in their own right.

The top five richest sports clubs in the world, across any sport, is made up of three football clubs, one American football team and a baseball team.

Football clubs have evolved

Football in terms of appeal, connecting with audiences, opening up new markets and proliferating their brand across the globe is happening at epic proportions. Take Real Madrid the richest football club in the world. In the last 10 years, it has trebled its value from just over $1bn to $3.2bn today. Barcelona in 2007 was valued at half a billion dollars and now today is worth an amazing 6 times as much at just over $3bn.

Football clubs have shifted their perception from being more than just about their productthe game itself, they are connecting with fashion and lifestyle which is essential for any brand development. Where you become more than the literal and associate at a higher emotional level. Wearing a football shirt 20 years ago was just for the hardcore fans to don on to a game, nowadays a casual fan will wear a Barcelona top while in Tesco’s.

This is the trick

While football has moved leaps and bounds, clubs need to engage with people who are actually not interested in football. Some of the best brands in the world have audiences who engage with them not because of their products but because they buy into the ethos, philosophy and what they stand for. Fashion companies are way ahead of this game. Nike has transformed itself from being a sports brand to just simply a fashionable brand regardless whether you are sports fan or not.

In Juventus’s latest rebrand exercise they are doing just this. They are stripping away some of the old symbolic connotations with football clubs in terms of crests, shields, and dated fonts. They are employing the latest design trends, minimalistic looks, typographic logos, and their colour palette lends well to this with it being white and black. 

Juventus is making their brand something that any global citizen, which we all are now, would connect with and find desirable. Just look at the design above. They transcend the normal realms of what we expect to find in a football club and, I wonder, when other football clubs will follow suit?