Rebranding a Sports Legend

00-Introduction

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What is Sporting News
An independent American sports news website and former print magazine. It's the longest running sports news offering established in 1886 as a magazine. The magazine stopped publishing in 2012 and became a website which initially launched in 2009. 

The Mission
Re-invent Sporting News as the #1 independent multi-sport news website in the world.

 

Sporting News Magazine established in 1886 and ran until 2012

Sporting News became a website in 2009 and has been running since

What did I do?

  • Investigated the existing website and brand.
  • Defined project goals with the business.
  • Conducted user research.
  • Defined the brand direction.
  • User tested the brand throughout development.

 

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The whole project team including key business stakeholders came together to define the project. A group SWOT analysis outlined key areas of improvements and who we want to target. It was decided a brand refresh and a new logo was needed to keep up to date with the growing media landscape.

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The Design Team investigated the assumed market, which was under 30 young professionals who loves sports. FIndings were condensed into 4 personas. This helped understand the users and what they would want from a website like Sporting News.

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03-Requirements

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The personas from the research influenced the brand position and the brand values.

Let's focus on the logo...

The brand position and the brand values influenced the new website and brand. I want to focus on the logo and how it was designed with frequent user input. This was key to the new brand. Sporting News is a relatively unknown brand. Many people find Sporting News via social media and therefore the logo would be the first thing people see. The logo had to be memorable and symbolise the brand.

 

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Staying true to brand values and taking inspiration from other US sports brands we knew our brand logo must be bold in order to stand out from the crowd.

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The 1st iteration of the logo was tested with users. Results made it clear users wern’t linking the logo with sports.

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Next step was to explore more logo designs. The aim was to sportifying the initial logo. The chosen solution was a clever 2 part logo which locked together to create an S and N.

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Users now linked the logo to sports however a few users said the logo was similar to the “Nazi Swastika”. We couldn't launch with a logo which had negative conatations.

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Next step was to remove the “Nazi Swastika” properties without losing the logo’s cleverness and link to sport. The chosen solution was to soften the existing logo’s edges.

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Users STILL linked the logo to sports, however a few users STILL linked the logo to the “Nazi Swastika”.

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Work still needed to remove the “Nazi Swastika” properties. The chosen solution was to flip the negative and postive space of the logo.

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Before launching our new logo we spoke to people from several backgrounds to get their opinions and make sure the meaning of the logo wasn't negative.  People we spoke too said the logo was definitely sports and we didn’t get a single Nazi reference.

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Once the logo was finalised, the logo and brand style and were finalised into design guidelines. This was created to govern the use of the new logo and brand style.

The new logo and brand style was rolled out on social media.

6.1-Delivery6.1-Delivery

            

Since launching the new logo and brand style user interactions on social media graphics is up 700%.