Eurosport first aired in 1989, broadcasting events from skiing championships to snooker tournaments to viewers across Europe. It now includes 16 websites and six TV channels, with subscribers in 91 countries.
The brand’s identity has changed little over the years: a refresh in 2011 introduced a new set of idents and some revisions to its logo but the core elements – the word the word Euro in blue and Sport in red, surrounded by a ring of stars – remained much the same.
Today, however, it unveiled a new identity developed by Pentagram and DixonBaxi. The Eurosport logo has been replaced with an E monogram and simplified word mark while new idents by DixonBaxi use quick cuts, extreme close-ups and some visceral sound design by Massive Music to depict a series of sporting moments, from a tennis player preparing to serve, to an athlete taking their place on the starting line of an athletics track.
The rebrand follows media group Discovery’s acquisition of Eurosport, a €491m deal which was completed in October. This summer, Discovery and Eurosport were awarded the television and digital rights to the Olympic Games in Europe from 2018–2024 for €1.3billion, and Eurosport’s VP of marketing Antonio Ruiz says there is “a long-term initiative to re-ignite the brand” with more exclusive events, higher production values and “more relevant content” for viewers in different markets.
The rebrand was carried out in response to market research, which revealed that while perceptions of Eurosport were generally positive, audiences weren’t always aware of what the broadcaster had to offer, says Federico Gaggio, consultant to Eurosport on brand and creative strategy, and formerly VP brand and executive creative director at Discovery. “We had to address some questions like ‘are we still as relevant now as we were 25 years ago and is our audience as broad as we would like it to be?’ and the answer was no,” he says.
Eurosport’s new logo and E monogram. A single star provides a nod to the ring of stars in the brand’s previous identity
While Eurosport broadcasts popular events including Tennis Grand Slams, the Tour de France and the Moto GP, it has not traditionally bid for premium priced rights such as premiership football, leading to a perception among some viewers that it only showed lesser-known sporting events or more niche content. “One of the key findings was also around ad breaks,” adds Gaggio. “People don’t like too many interruptions when they’re watching live sports and there was some criticism around the quality of ad breaks, so we needed to make that experience better,” he explains.
Eurosport’s identity in use on mugs and stationery. Corporate communications will use the brand’s navy and red colour palette, while a secondary palette of brighter colours will be used on merchandise
The brief for the project was initially split into three: strategy, identity and on-air branding. Sid Lee worked with Eurosport to develop a strategy based on the idea of sport as a unifying experience, and its role as a brand which connects people with the sports they love. “The essence of it was the idea of teaming up, connecting fans and athletes, and that has informed a lot of the creative work,” says Gaggio. Pentagram was assigned responsibility for creating the logo, brand hierarchy, identity style guide and merchandising, while DixonBaxi worked on the creative strategy and on and off-air branding, including ad campaigns. The two agencies collaborated on key elements however, such as the logo, monogram and typography guidelines.
“It’s quite a complex job in that there isn’t just one core brand mark,” explains Pentagram’s Angus Hyland. “There are several channel and product identifiers, and different parts of the organisation are responsible for the production of different products, so it leads into brand architecture, how that is manifest across the organisation, how that evolves into different products going forward and