Branding Coventry United F.C.
Emotional fans. Segregated communities. Uniting an entire city through design and brand.
Coventry. A city of die-hard Sky Blues. A sociopolitical culture dictated, at least in part, by the city's half-million residents and their love of football, not least the most successful team in their history, Coventry City. In 2015, the city's allegiance would become divided, as the century-old club faced some unwelcome competition from a newly formed club, Coventry United, who rolled into town with a notion to turn the footballing spotlight, red & green.
By 2019, Coventry United's women's team would successfully bid to enter the second tier of English football, and in doing so, East 23 was called in to fulfil an intricate brief, laid down by The Football Association.
Our initial engagement would be an exhaustive overhaul of the existing brand strategy, to clearly define and resonate with fans, and to divert the attention away from Sky Blue and towards the Red & Green.
Detail and refine the brand's identity and fan experience. Increase matchday attendances and cultivate fan loyalty.
East 23 guided Coventry United towards a unified identity system and helped them understand their purpose in the eyes of their fans. Matchday attendances grew by 366% almost instantly, which in turn led to increased revenues, longer consumer lifecycles and a secured future fanbase.
Building the Brand Legacy
On appointment, East 23's Brand Strategy Director, Robbie Woodward, worked closely with the board of directors and key stakeholders at the club, to clearly define what the future looked like for United.
Discovery sessions revealed the depth and scale of the project at hand, and the process helped to unearth critical pain points that the club faced. We were able to profile key audiences which allowed us to underpin the clubs values and align its identity with that of their fans. In doing so, these early moments marked the beginning of a globally recognised footballing brand.
* Slides for illustrative purposes only, to protect client credibility
Reimagining the Brand Identity
Winning promotion to the second tier of English football would deliver a new and intense spotlight on the club, as well as the individual players and staff. This was not just a huge step up in professionalism on the field, but it called for a robust, and relatable brand identity off the pitch too.
Football, by its very definition, is fanatical, and an emotional state of mind, so we had to be strategical about profiling the brand's fans. Understanding the psychographics of existing, and potential audiences helped us influence the brand architecture; informing a holistic and refined brand experience at every touchpoint.
*For illustrative purposes only, to protect client credibility
Cleansing the Tone of Voice
Strategy sessions quickly identified cross-traits within the fan profiles, which allowed us to strengthen the brand's messaging and tone of voice. We were able to bring the brand to life and give it a personality, shifting the brand's narrative from dialogue to conversation. Both brand and audience had a shared language and a united voice.