Brand Design (Nigerian Football League) Part 2
Updated: Jun 3, 2018
How We Attempted To Use Brand Design To Improve the Nigerian Professional Football League.
The Nigerian Professional Football league (NPFL) is the highest level of the Nigerian football league system and it is fed into by the Nigeria National League. The NPFL has a major role to play in the improvement of Nigerian football. It is the first market to shop for new talents that would represent the country in local and international competitions.
The League Management Company under the leadership of Alhaji Shehu Dikko has improved the league over the past few years but there are still a lot of gaps to be filled and segments to be improved upon. The LMC as a custodian of the league would need to create and set a standard guideline with NPFL to establish a consistent form within the league and amongst its stakeholders.
In exercising its rights derived from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Act 1990 as the sole regulatory authority for football in Nigeria, the NFF which is the owner of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) issued the license to organize and regulate the top tier league to the League Management Company (LMC) for the purpose of organizing and promoting the league to meet global technical and commercial standards.
The franchise was granted following the near collapse of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) organized by the Nigeria Football League (NFL) which arose from intractable legal, contractual, administrative and financial impediments.
The NFF had in November 2012 with the agreement and support of the National Sports Commission (NSC) the nation’s sports regulatory authority constituted an Interim Management Committee (IMC) for the League as part of measures to avert a total collapse of the top tier professional League. In seeking not to perpetuate the illegality of the now defunct NFL and to avoid running football in a vacuum in the absence of the NPL, the IMC supervised the formation and incorporation of the LMC to run a transparent and commercially viable professional league.
(Lifted from NPFL)
“We have been inspired by the passionate public acknowledgement of the rapid progress that the NPFL has recorded under our watch and we will continue to explore possibilities and opportunities to reinforce the structure that has been put in place to advance the league.” Shehu Dikko, LMC Chairman NPFL 2015/2016 SEASON REVIEW
As at 2016 when this project was done, the NPFL had:
•N40 Million awarded as prize money to the champions. (Now N80million prize money)
•1.42 Million number of spectators
•25, 922 followers on Facebook (Now a closed group of about 47,800 members}
•49, 200 followers on Twitter (Now about 80,000 followers)
•1901 followers on Instagram (Now about 6,500 followers)
•139,000 average views/month on YouTube
•186,894 Unique web users
NPFL 2015/2016 SEASON REVIEW
Campaign Theme: "Beyond The Three Points"
WHY WE ATTEMPTED THIS PROJECT
Inspired by the LMC Chairman's quote above led to this proactive project.
The objectives were to develop a brand design for NPFL to improve brand equity, have a consistent design language across all platforms, increase share of voice, top of mind awareness and promote the brand to generate higher revenue.
“LMC is committed to raising the revenue profile of the league.”
Shehu Dikko, LMC Chairman NPFL 2015/2016 SEASON REVIEW
WHY BRANDING IS IMPORTANT
To increase viewership and attract Nigerians to the local league, we studied the amazing ways some of the European leagues deliver the addictive football experience so as to emulate and infuse some of their attributes into the NPFL. The Premier league and LALiga are the two widely watched leagues in Nigeria and for the NPFL to increase its viewership, a similar viewing experience must be delivered to the same audience too.
The English Premier League rebranding was done by Design Studio in preparation for the 2016/2017 league season and the entire TV experience was executed by Dixon Baxi. LaLiga also did a rebrand in 2015 by IC Creative Studio. These projects were used as reference points to give NPFL a whole new look.
NPFL BRAND AUDIT
What were the audience saying?
THE NPFL LOGO
By applying basic design principles, we decided to reduce the bar below the icon and create a more responsive logo system that is adaptable to different platforms without losing its form and consistency.
NPFL Portrait Version
NPFL Landscape Version
The Referee's Uniform
The trophy should be custom built and crafted for the league.
It should be a registered emblem of the League.
It should be one and the same every season and should stand as the reward for honour, to crown the champion of the league.
It should be made of solid gold and sterling silver to increase the value of the league and increase the stake of winning.
The plinth would be solid gold where names of past winners can be listed.
The Eagle on the trophy stands as a symbol of strength and courage, to crown the effort of the winning team.
We collaborated with OBK Studios to deliver the animations that would improve the league's viewing experience.
COMMUNICATING THE NPFL BRAND
Most Nigerian football stars started their professional career from a local football club in Nigeria. The idea was to use the influential ones that started their careers on home soil to promote the league.
Getting this project to the right authority came with its own challenges. I was almost turned into a particular individual's ATM, who claimed to be a close ally to the LMC chairman.
I believe with no doubt in my mind that brand design has a major role to play in improving the leagues, the football clubs, football in the country and sports in general. I hope that LMC, NPFL, the football clubs and even more corporate businesses would start to consider a Nigerian design studio to handle their brand designs and not take it to foreign design studios. We can handle and deliver it to keep growing the Naira and create more job opportunities because while studying the design studios that did the EPL and LaLiga branding, I noticed that the studios that handled the EPL branding were studios located in London while the studio that handled the LaLiga branding is located in Spain. We can keep the wealth within by offering more Nigerian businesses opportunities to deliver products and services (this is another discussion for another day).
If you were inspired, please drop a comment as I share the concluding part soon.