When it comes to branding or rebranding a sports franchise, there have been plenty of examples recently. Locally, the Montreal Alouettes have redesigned their logo and look, the Montreal Impact has become CF Montreal, and McGill is now the Redbirds, replacing their old nickname which was not acceptable in today’s political climate. . The Canadian Football League now includes the Edmonton Elks, and the Cleveland franchise of Major League Baseball will become the Guardians at the start of the 2022 season.
Originally from TMR, Phil Héroux is a brand designer through his company Phil HérouxBrands, who has worked on the branding of hundreds of clients, from startups to SMEs, collaborates as a branding specialist with agencies Montrealers. He co-founded the GAB, a café to work in Montreal and lectures for young students and entrepreneurs and participates in round tables to discuss design and marketing.
A great sports fan, Héroux brings his expertise to this re-branding subject. “You have to think of everything,” said Phil Héroux. “It’s a big step in building a brand image. You need to use data and surveys to create the best possible outcome.
Whatever the reason for rebranding an organization, there are many factors that come into play for the name, colors and logo. These elements must resonate with the fans to have their continued support and buy the merchandise to show their loyalty to their team. “Not everyone who changes their name and brand image is doing it for good deeds,” Héroux said. “They have so much pressure from their sponsors and fans that they just don’t have a choice. Even though it is an extremely expensive process, it would cost them a lot more not to do it. This is a category to which McGill, Edmonton and Cleveland belong.
Two organizations, CF Montreal and the Trois-Rivières Lions, which will play their inaugural season in ECHL, unveiled their names and logos this year. For CF Montreal, it was a two-year journey to replace the Montreal Impact brand as the Lions had to create something to appeal to their new fan base. “I think it works well (the Lions logo),” he said. “They captured the vibe and history of the area and the fleur-de-lis and lion’s head can be seen from the start, but the other elements they incorporated are known to fans as well.”
As for FC Montreal, that two-year journey to rebrand the organization to make the organization feel like a world football organization has so many elements that “if you compromise the clarity of the logo with excessive references, you are missing out on a chance for the general public to fully see what is being presented, ”he said. “It’s like they say if you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny. If you have to explain a logo, you’ve missed the mark.
There’s something to be said about iconic logos that can be tweaked but never really change, like the CH Canadiens or the Los Angeles Dodgers and the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. “When people experience the sports brand, they experience it completely,” he said. “The games, the players, the mascots, the merchandise; they follow the team’s actions on social networks on a daily basis, buy tickets and participate in contests on the website. The Canadiens have done a great job of presenting the players and the brand as one. Fans can be proud and people can wear the brand in everyday life.
So fans, no matter what team you’ve pledged your allegiance to, know that a lot of thought has gone into securing and promoting their name and brand in the sports world. [email protected]