First airing in 1989, Eurosport is one of the main sources for sports in Europe with three TV channels — Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, and Eurosportnews — that reach 243 million subscribers across 99 countries in Europe, as well as Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. This year included big changes for Eurosport as Discovery Communications became its owner and paid 1.3 billion Euros for the rights to broadcast the Summer Olympic Games in Europe from 2018 to 2024. This past Friday, Eurosport introduced a new identity designed by London-based Pentagram partner Angus Hyland and on-air look and ad campaign by DixonBaxi.
The new identity, revealed on-air on Friday 13 November 2015, will be underpinned by the strapline ‘Fuel Your Passion’ and supported by the #sharemypassion social media campaign, which encourages fans to share stories about the extraordinary lengths they go to in order to demonstrate their love for their athlete, team or sport.
Recognisable, distinctive and relatable, the new identity will propel Eurosport into the 21st century while acknowledging the proud heritage of innovation and expertise that has been part of Eurosport’s DNA for more than 25 years.
The old logo was fine; nothing great or terrible about it. Perhaps its strongest positive was that it felt strongly European, echoing the Flag of Europe with the stars going around in an italicized circle but it made for a mouthful of a logo. The new logo reduces the number of stars to one and puts that single star to work as the middle line of the “E”, which becomes the visual centerpiece of the logo. The wordmark now also resembles that of its parent company and sister channels. It’s a strong evolution that creates a simple, solid wordmark with the flexibility of a very recognizable — in due time — monogram that has a slightly different construction that embeds the star much more into the shape of the “E”. I wished that top-left part of the “E” didn’t dip to start the stem and that it would have been resolved like the bottom-left part somehow. Still, when used small on social media or as the favicon, it works well.
The ads, on-air graphics, and overall visual voice rely on Lineto’s Alpha Headline typeface that was originally a commission for Mitsubishi but made available for special licensing deals, which Eurosport got, which makes for a distinct typographic voice that sort of feels like sports but has its own, unique edge to it.
“A lot of sports broadcasters and brands go after certain aspects of sport, and a lot of it is around grandeur. Everything is heroic and iconic and so on, so really for us, it was about breaking out of that way of thinking,” says DixonBaxi’s Aporva Baxi. “We wanted to capture moments aside from the things you typically see in sport such as the winning goal, the match point, crossing the finish line — so these are about preparation, the excitement of fans and the ups and downs of the game.”
The on-air look is quite nice, with the big headline text typeset in a white stroke — which, as simple as it is, is almost mind-blowing for screen use as I bet dozens of TV channel execs in the past have rejected something like it for lack of readability — in the center of the screen and the rest of the typography and visual elements cascading in size towards the top and bottom. The approach somehow doesn’t extend as appropriately to the print ads, feeling tight and squeezed and lacking the stroked type. The quick cuts in the idents and bumpers are energetic, engaging, and get the viewer in the mood for some European sports. Goal achieved. Pun intended.