When a business refreshes its corporate branding, this can make a huge world of difference and give an organisation a fresh new look which appeals to current and prospective stakeholders. However, in the sports industry rebranding can be incredibly challenging and difficult to manage as fans can be incredibly loyal to a team’s identity and how this reflects the values and heritage of the club.
Nevertheless, when professional rugby league club Hull Kingston Rovers approached our team to help bring their new club identity to life, we could not resist the opportunity to flex our creative muscles and be part of the evolution of the club.
Hull Kingston Rovers are a professional rugby league club based in Kingston upon Hull. To celebrate the club’s 140th anniversary year, Hull KR planned to unveil a brand-new identity that would represent the club for the 2022 season and beyond. The highlight of this new identity was a brand-new club logo which would heavily feature across all of Hull KR’s assets including the team’s kit, merchandise, and branding. The new identify had been created by renowned design studio Nomad and led by Stuart Watson – whose work for the Premier League re-brand was critically acclaimed and loved by sports fans around the world.
For this project, Eon Visual Media were recruited by Craig Franklin (Head of Marketing at Hull Kingston Rovers), to produce a series of visual assets to help communicate the rationale behind this new brand identity and help promote the launch of this new identity.
At the start of this project, our creative team liaised with Hull KR to discuss ideas for new visual assets. At first, the initial task of creating a series of visual assets for this rebrand seemed incredibly challenging, as other Super League clubs had recently been met with much controversy following similar club rebrands. However, Hull Kingston Rovers were confident that any contention could be avoided by showcasing the heritage and values of the club as well as emphasising the importance of the club’s evolution. This ideology formed the basis of our creative concepts.
To begin, our team conducted research into the sports industry and how other teams and businesses had developed successful rebrands campaigns. Following this, our team liaised with Hull KR and held a series of briefing and brainstorming calls to share our research and establish the overall aims for the project.
From here, it was agreed that Eon Visual Media would create a brand-new micro-site which would take fans on a journey and explain the story of how Hull KR developed the new club identity. Furthermore, our microsite would contain a variety of additional digital assets to support the campaign including an animated video which would help to announce and promote the launch of new club identify. It was critical that our micro-site and animated video would embrace the heritage and history of Hull KR, whilst also demonstrating how the club branding has transformed into the new identify.
After conducting our initial research and establishing the overall objectives for the project, our team began to design and develop the brand-new micro-site for Hull KR. When designing the micro-site, our development team took inspiration from a variety of websites for professional sports teams which had been explored in the initial project research. Additionally, our team liaised with Hull KR’s marketing team to effectively plan what information would be displayed on the new brand lunch micro-site.
To help take fans on a journey and understand the full development process of the new club identity, it was agreed that our micro-site would contain relevant information such as,
- Why Hull KR are rebranding
- How Hull KR are rebranding
- Origin of the nickname ‘The Robins’
- The designer of the new brand identity
- An interactive club history timeline
- Club badge history
- Testimonials from notable Hull KR stakeholders
As well as providing all relevant information for the campaign, our development team also ensured that our micro-site contained an e-commerce shop which would showcase all the new Hull KR merchandise with the new club logo. By including an e-commerce shop on our micro-site, this would help to promote Hull KR’s new merchandise and entice fans to make a purchase. Additionally, our micro-site would also enable Hull KR to collect analytical information about online visitors. Our brand-new micro-site for Hull KR can be seen here!
In addition to creating a micro-site, our creative team were also tasked to create a brand-new animation which would be used to support and promote the brand identity launch campaign online. To begin this creative process, a script was developed by Hull KR which provided a brief history of the club, highlighted the values and traditions, and emphasised the need for the club to move forward and evolve. After reviewing the script, our creative team began to develop visual concepts and a storyboard which would effectively communicate all the information from the script whilst also achieving the overall objectives for the project. After gaining approval for the storyboard from Hull KR, our team began to develop the full animated video.
To help showcase the heritage and history of the club, our team incorporated a variety of archived film footage and photos which had been obtained from Hull KR. Our team also ensured that our video followed the visual brand guidelines of Hull KR and utilising a red and white colour scheme. In addition to utilising Hull KR’s visual assets, our team also created a variety of slick visuals to help illustrate the transformation of the old club logo into the new robins inspired design. Furthermore, our video incorporated a voice over which was provided by Hull KR club owner Neil Hudgell, which helped to add a sense of familiarity with Hull KR fans.
Our full animated video production can be seen here! 👈
After completing the animated video and campaign micro-site, these were submitted to the Hull KR marketing team and played a significant role for the brand new identify launch on the 10th of September 2021.
Since its debut, our animation has been viewed over 250,000 impressions on Hull KR’s online platforms, with an estimated reach of 1 million by rugby fans across the globe.
“Jack, James and the Eon team really understood the sensitive and confidential nature of this project but also how important it was to get it right. Showcasing how the old crest with three crowns had morphed into the new crowns which double up as Robins was critical to the overall project. We needed to demonstrate to fans that this was a natural evolution of our crest rather a complete overhaul, and the morph animation really nailed that.
The launch has been universally well received and the campaign video and microsite has really assisted with that, particularly contributing to our record retail sales since launching.”
Craig Franklin – Head of Marketing and Communications at Hull KR
At Eon Visual Media, our friendly team of creators can collaborate with you to develop a professional and high-quality video and website to help promote your brand, products, and services. With our expertise, our creative team can help to create an entertaining and engaging video production helping your business stand out from the competition. Furthermore, our friendly team are experts in developing E-commerce platforms, E-learning hubs, and mobile optimised websites to help promote your brand, products, and services.
"I just wanted to put on record my thanks to you and the team for your hard work with our re-brand project. The video and microsite Eon Visual Media produced for our re-brand is exactly what I was hoping to achieve! You have shown great patience with me this last week on the final tweaks of the website. Great Work! Thank you!"
Craig Franklin – Hull Kingston Rovers