Dec 01, 2017

How can design bring innovation into sport?


by Giacomo Cesana

Close your eyes and think of a sporting brand.
If you thought of Nike or Adidas, you are in the majority of the world’s population and this is by no means by chance. The sporting universe is characterised by dynamism, performance, results and improvement. A constant look towards the future and how the industry can evolve.

No-one would be likely to associate sport with the concepts of history, tradition, and a glorious past. But if we look at the world of football, particularly in Europe, where many of the teams are huge global brands, we discover a very homogeneous universe when it comes to the symbols of these teams, in the form of coats-of-arms and rich historic elements. A world in which renewal and improvement, at least from the point of view of visual identity, takes place with great caution, at times even being seen as something negative, as was the case with Everton in England.

Taking our theory, which sees a misalignment of values between the brands of countless European football teams and the world of sport, as fact: what can design do in such a market?

There are a couple of examples that in my opinion are worth examining in order to find a solution. The first is the re-branding of the Premier League, the second is the case of Juventus.

In both cases the two companies have undergone an extensive evolution of their historical and traditional past, presenting themselves to fans, spectators, sponsors and investors with an identity which looks to the future and to new challenges. First of all, with a radical change in brand, which abandons the traditional heraldic elements in favour of a more essential and contemporary version, embracing a highly modern brand identity with the use of colours and other graphical elements.

This move is the climax of a process which has seen the Premier League and Juventus as forerunners in the offering of a new brand experience made up of engagement programmes, thematic offers (restaurants, museums, shopping), and even playlists on Spotify: in other words, brands which go far beyond football and individual matches, brand experiences which are capable of also attracting people who are not so interested in football, shifting the focus from the football pitch to wider-ranging areas.

Without these premises it would be difficult to justify such bold changes in the football universe, and it would be difficult to imagine an alternative future in the panorama of football brands, even if, as a creative director and dedicated fan, I hope this is possible.


CBA Design

Our HQ

96, rue Édouard Vaillant
92300 Levallois-Perret, France

+33 (0)1 40 54 09 00

© 2016 All Rights Reserved

CBA is a global design agency.
We are a network of 13 offices located across the globe, sharing the same mindset.
Our 305 professionals work passionately everyday on projects from more than 30 countries.

CBA Global en
CBA France FR / EN
CBA Italy IT / EN
CBA Spain ES
CBA Turkey EN / TR
CBA Middle East EN
CBA Asia Pacific EN
CBA Latin America EN / PT / ES

Type your search and hit return


First Name

Last Name

Email address

You will need to confirm your address to activate your subscription
By clicking "Subscribe" you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy

Terms and conditions


This site is edited by:
CBA Paris
SASU with a capital of 1 150 000€ Euros
RCS Paris

Headquarters :
96 rue Edouard Vaillant, 92 300 Levallois-Perret, France
Tél : 01 40 54 09 00

Director of Publication : Louis Collinet

This website was developed by :
CB’A Srl
Headquarters: via Lecce 4, 20136 – Milan, Italy

The information displayed on this site concerns all CBA Paris entities. These companies are referred hereafter by the name « CBA Group ».

Property rights

All data, text, information, images, photography, videos or any other content shared on this website are protected by copyright.
Any reproduction, representation, use or adaptation, whatever the form, of all or an element of this site without the written consent of CBA group will be considered as a counterfeit act and falls under the penalties of Intellectual Property Code.

Brand copyrights
All named and logotyped brands and other distinctive signs, which appear on this website are CBA group’s property and / or of their clients. Consequently, any reproduction or representation, and any use of these distinctive signs are prohibited, except with a written consent of their owners.

Links generation to
The website allows the set up of an hypertext link pointing towards its content, except using the technic of « deep linking », i.e the pages of should not be integrated within another website pages, but accessible through the opening of a new window.
This authorization does not apply in any case to websites displaying controversial, pornographic, or xenophobic information or which could harm sensibility or cause public disorder.

Website editor's responsibility
Website content :
CBA Group has attempted to ensure the accuracy and the update of the information contained on this website ; CBA Groupe reserves the right to amend, at any time and without notice, the content. However, CBA group cannot guarantee the accuracy, the precision or the comprehensiveness of the information carried on this website.

Website access :
CBA group’s companies cannot be held liable for any incovenience or damages related to the general use of Internet, notably in case of service breakdown, external intrusion, downloaded viruses, or damages caused to the equipment or software which would be linked to the use of this website.

Links towards other sites :
The site might include links to other Internet websites. Given that CBA group can’t control these sites, CBA group cannot bear the responsibility for their contents, advertisments, products, services or any other material available on or from these websites. Moreover, CBA group cannot be held responsible for any damages or loss related to a trust relationship relating to the content, goods or services availables on these sites.

Privacy policy

Visitors are made aware that all personal data collected on this website are automatically processed. Data collected are kept confidential and are aimed at the exclusive use of members and services of CBA group.

These personal data fall under the dispositions of law « Informatique et Libertés » of January 6, 1978.
It is understood that the visitor is given a right of access, amendment or deletion of any personal data related to them, by sending a mail to :

CBA Fabien Godimus 96 rue Edouard Vaillant 92300 Levallois-Perret
or by sending an email to