Vox Pop

Last week Tottenham Hotspur confirmed that it is evaluating its brand as part of an overall review of its business. Given the level of emotion that football engenders, what are the perils of changing club branding and how best can they be avoided?

‘Pick your players carefully on both sides for this game, as they could throw 100 years of tradition out of the executive box window. It is a costly penalty if you miss the “branding goal” completely in today’s global league.’

Rod Petrie, Director, Design Bridge

‘Spurs are steeped in history. They should be careful not to make drastic changes to their famous brand as a result of a lean decade, where greed and business interests replaced the flair and panache that Spurs have always been renowned for. Having spent the past six months interviewing football fans for the launch of the FA England members club, I can confirm that fans have passion and commitment to something more powerful than a “brand”.’

Phil Jones, Managing director, ehsrealtime

‘Club loyalties are not to be taken lightly. Anyone who grew up in Liverpool in the 1960s will testify to that. On the other hand, big clubs change their strips every season, sacrificing more and more sacred shirt space for corporate advertising. So why not tinker with the brand? Spurs is a tough one, mind you. Replace the cockerel with a phoenix and it could reopen the controversy about Glen Hoddle and his dodgy ideas about reincarnation.’

Jeremy Myerson, Director, Helen Hamlyn Research Centre

‘It’s a question of balance. Fans crave nostalgia, while business will want a brand that addresses shareholder and stakeholder questions about the future. By all means look back for history and heritage, but balance this with a view of the future – after all, this is what delivers tangible results, not the legendary 1901 FA Cup Victory, when Tottenham were a non-league club’

James Acton, Head of design, Poulter Partners

‘Tottenham have a product that in ten years time will be completely different. Given this constant change on the field, it would make sense to keep the core club identity recognisably consistent. This is not to say it can’t be improved, but to throw all that awareness away would be unforgivable.’

Pete Green, Chief executive, Springetts

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