A perfect match? Creating the right personal branding in sport

A perfect match? Creating the right personal branding in sport

Andy Murray’s new brand was unveiled last week, ahead of the start of the Australian Open. It has received a lot of attention from the sports and design community alike, with the usual mix of positive and negative reactions.

The brief was straightforward, but tricky to execute. He wanted his monogram to show his initials and the number 77, reflecting his lucky number and the years since a British man won the Wimbledon Championships when he took the title in 2013.

The design agency Aesop said, “We wanted to create a modern mark that captures Andy’s energy and spirit whilst subtly referencing his affinity with the number ’77’.” They have done a good job doing this, although, personally, I think it lacks a bit of warmth and personality ­– but maybe that is quite fitting.

For the elite top class sports people – Roger Federer, Neymar, Michael Jordan, Lewis Hamilton, Ian Poulter, to name a few – personal branding and having a logo is becoming the industry standard. Their brand identities have to work hard across multiple channels, from the clothing and equipment they take on to court – an incredibly high-exposure environment – to their websites, social media channels and, in Murray’s case, his sports management company 77’s corporate stationary.

Having a good-looking marketable identity that works well on merchandise, backed by consistent winning performances on the pitch/field/court, can make for a very lucrative business and hugely increase a sports person’s earning potential, and stretch their earning capacity beyond the peak of their sporting career.

It helps to be marketable in person, but a personal brand will always be a talking point and help lift your profile. It makes you think: if you were to brand yourself, what would you choose?

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