This past Monday Juventus presented its new logo at the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan. The goal of the club owned by Andrea Agnelli is to “grow in terms of presence, influence, and business through innovative initiatives deliverable to everyone around the globe.”
The revolutionary change for the club is that for the first time in its history, there is no reference to the city of Turin in the logo, home of the bianconeri.
From an economic standpoint, every major club has been looking to adapt to the faster pace of business these days. Making money through the image of the club certainly represents a large portion of Juventus’ revenue streams. The new logo should not only help drive merchandise sales and brand loyalty in the domestic market, but also abroad in cities such as Singapore, Melbourne, Osaka, and New York (to cite a few where the club has a strong fan base). These are all new markets in which football is gaining more economic power each day, and teams with a long winning history like Juventus are seen as landmarks for this growth.
Judging by the reaction on Facebook and Twitter, the majority of the local and most affectionate Juventus fans did not appreciate that the new logo emphasized only the “J” and the social colors (black and white) of the club, while completely ignoring the city where the club was born. This reaction shows how risky Juventus’ revolutionary decision is.
However, it is the “new” fans abroad which the club is trying to monetize with the change of the logo in the end. Look at what Roma and PSG did after being acquired by foreign investors, James Pallotta and the Al Thani royal family, respectively. One of the first changes they made, of course, is the restyling of the logo. From the Roma logo the historical “ASR” denomination was removed, and the word “Roma” and the “Lupa” (female wolf) symbol of the Italian capital was updated. In the same manner, the French club emphasized the word “Paris” while redesigning the new logo. Obviously, fan complaints were not lacking, and this shows how complicated it is for clubs to develop a new marketing strategy without creating discontent from existing fans.
On the contrary, Juventus decided to focus exclusively on the identity of the club rather than linking it to the city in which they play and were founded over 100 years ago. This should not be surprising considering there are more Juventus supporters in the other Italian cities than Turin itself, although this is fairly common with big clubs. The choice is not to identify the team and what it stands for merely by the city it comes from, but to make Juventus a global brand without limitations. This is why Juventus chose the letter “J” and the black and white colors. This is also in line with the recent investments the club has completed: Juventus Stadium, J Museum, J Medical, and soon to be ready the J Village.
Solely from a business point of view, it’s hard to deny that new products with the new logo will be easier to wear on a more casual daily basis, without necessarily making it look like you are about to go to the stadium and cheer for Juventus. Therefore, it will be easier to sell merchandise for the club as well as easier to wear for those who will actually buy Juventus products. “Until now, no European club has been able to transcend the sport aspect to represent the philosophy behind the team” said Manfredi Ricca, Interbrand Chief Strategy Officer EMEA & LatAm who collaborated to develop the concept and identity of Black and White and More. “Juventus is synonym of ambition and excellence, the new visual identity was born exactly to bring the signature and spirit of the club in new and unexpected fields.”
The new logo will be fully implemented in physical and digital aspects starting as of July 2017. This decision has been met with praise and strong complaints, but as President Agnelli stated “To always be on the lookout for new positive results, we also need to evolve our language and change our skin.”