Friday 6 March 2009

Foxy rebrand for English Squash (& Racketball)

New England Squash and Racketball logoMore fruits of England Squash's decision to invest in marketing its product are beginning to emerge, with the rebranding of the organisation and the unveiling of a new logo ...

ES have commissioned professional help from an agency, Fudge Studios, as part of the process. With squash historically pretty dire at marketing itself, this seems like a worthwhile investment.

The decision to market squash together with racketball is explained by ES in their unveiling to the press:

"Our vision is to increase the popularity and profile of both sports, continue to raise levels of success at international level and to run the sports according to the highest standards of governance, management and ethics. In order to achieve this we felt that the organisation needed a new identity, one that truly represented our aspirations to be modern, vibrant, and professional."

First impressions are always strong when an organisation revels a new logo (remember this?). The WSF has also had a go in recent times.

ES also explain the thinking behind the design of their badge (and forthcoming website):

"Both the logo and website have been designed to convey the sports of squash and racketball as vibrant, dynamic, modern and professional, and to persuade more people to get on court to try our great sports."

Interesting to see that a governing body has taken the step of removing a recognisable squash ball from their branding (though now that racketball comes as part of the package this may have been a deciding factor). The squash ball naturally lends itself to becoming a logo for the sport, and most websites (we hold our hands up!) incorporate it. It seems a small point, but moving away from this is a step in the right direction.

We can't help see a certain well-known web browser in those reddy-brown swirls, but I doubt that will be the first thought of many. It certainly carries the hallmark of being thought about in detail - rather than some we could mention.

It is somewhat unfair to judge logos decontextualised - we'll have to wait to see England Squash & Racketball (do we now have to write that every time .. seems a bit of a mouthful)'s new website and other marketing materials to see how it beds down into the wider campaign. Signs and their meaning change over time, don't cha know?

The real success behind the rebrand, of course, will be a greater interest in squash and racketball in England. I want to see ES (or ES&R) on the walls of my leisure centre. So let's leave the final words to them as they describe how they'll do this:

"Over the coming months and years we will be working closely with clubs, leisure centres, universities and workplaces to help introduce thousands of new players, coaches, and volunteers to the sports, and key to this is creating a vibrant club scene.

Squash will continue to be at the heart of our activity but we feel strongly that racketball will help bring new people to squash courts. Squash facilities that have embraced both sports are going from strength to strength, with busy courts and increased membership numbers. Our aim is to help all clubs achieve this success."

England Squash and Racketball

1 comment:

  1. Whilst I agree that it looks good, I do worry whether it's image over substance. The old website was pretty poor and the whole grading system a complete nightmare so it will be interesting for those of us who are not satisfied playing the same people month in month out to see whether this makes it easier to use as a members resource.

    One lives in hope!


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