Personal Logos, Brands & World Domination – Steven Falk

January 16, 2015

Andy Murray’s new personal logo is a little too Third Reich in style for my taste.

That’s not to say it isn’t a good piece of graphic design or that it won’t be tremendously successful in helping to capitalise on the commercial potential of his success on the court.

However, the suggestion that the 2013 Wimbledon champion has joined the likes of Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods in creating his own brand is a double fault.

The use of personal logos by sports stars treads a fine line between the hard-edged desire to maximise commercial opportunity and the more narcissist ambition of self-aggrandisement.

It works best where the sport is a test of individual performance and charisma like tennis and golf rather than in team games such as football and cricket.

This is why Greg Norman’s white shark resonates more than Kevin Pietersen’s century tattoo.

There is however a world of difference between a logo and a brand.

A logo is simply a badge. It can be stamped onto a piece of merchandise as an identifier but does not necessarily express any emotional attachment.

A brand is a philosophy created by an individual or organisation to reflect certain values, attitudes, beliefs and most crucially, behaviours.

Association with a brand represents the opportunity for followers to share an emotional bond; to express their solidarity with an individual or organisation whose ethos they can identify with.

A brand creates loyalty and affinity. It is constant and enduring. Because of this, it also has value. This brand equity is often a company’s most valuable asset and if damaged can precipitate financial meltdown.

Andy Murray’s move into personal promotion coincides with changing his kit supplier from Adidas to Under Armour. The AM logo will add value to this new relationship by offering a differential advantage and premium image to product lines incorporating the new logo.

Creation of an Andy Murray brand, if that is indeed his ambition, is a much bigger task. A recognisable logo is certainly an element of the brand essence but it is only the first step.

But maybe the resemblance of the AM logo to certain Teutonic-style imagery is no accident.

Perhaps projecting a hazy graphic impression redolent of blitzkrieg and world domination by a perfect physical specimen of the master race is exactly what Andy Murray has in mind…in the sporting sense of course.  Go Andy.

Steven Falk is director of Star Sports Marketing a consultancy providing advice on sponsorship activation, CRM, brand and affinity marketing. He was previously Marketing Director at Manchester United. You can follow him on Twitter @steven_falk or visit

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