"Dicen que nunca se rinde” (they say never give up) is one of the most popular lines from Sevilla FC’s anthem and one that has come to define the club’s DNA. So much so that the club has begun to use phrase as the foundation of its global brand.
With football clubs earning global followings from the strength of their brand identity, Sevilla FC aims to transcend the sports world by promoting the values of struggle and overcoming adversity to achieve success. Using its own dramatic history, Sevilla is positioning itself as the club that never gives up and always has the ambition to aim higher.
To help strengthen this global image, the club is also paying homage to the city of Seville by creating new visual elements that reinforce the brand’s impact in both domestic and international markets.
This combination of visual branding with storytelling forms the basis of an ambitious and far-reaching brand strategy that aims to bring the essence of the club fans across the globe across in traditional and digital forms.
The need for a more global project
Although the club had been pursuing a brand expansion strategy for several years, it was felt that the steps being taken on the international stage were not sufficient: "With LaLiga’s guidance and counsel, we took part in many meetings and forums, we travelled a great deal and we tried to take El Gran Derbi (the match against city rivals Real Betis) global,” the club explained. “But we always had the impression that we weren’t doing enough to get our message across.”
In consultation with LaLiga and global branding experts, the club then set about building a new narrative and visual identity grounded in the club’s history, trajectory and ambition, without leaving out key modern day attributes of the club that help it to connect with the new generation of football fans today.
“The 'Never Give Up' slogan represents the team’s overriding ambition and desire to continue growing, while at the same time reflecting our humility and aspiration to keep on improving - in a sporting and in a business sense - despite our limited resources,” the club continued.
First phases of the project
The brand project was divided into several phases over a period of one year, with the club working in close conjunction with a specialised consulting firm. In the first phase, more than 15 interviews were conducted: these included speaking with the club’s president and vice president, general management, directors, employees, sponsors, LaLiga and players such as club captain Jesus Navas and former star Daniel Carriço.
“We have been growing among different target profiles but always very cautiously and, to this day, there are still areas of improvement,” the club elaborated. “But one thing that was non-negotiable was the need to bring together the overriding sentiment that all Sevilla FC fans have.”
The objective of the interviews was therefore to identify “what Sevilla FC meant to all of us.” The conclusions taken were added to the findings from a brand study carried out on a national and international scale to determine a core brand identity.
"One of the key findings was the emergence of a specific brand personality and a set of values attached to it," the club stated. “Everyone seemed to have the same idea in their head, but not everyone could express it in the same way."
From the club’s point of view, there was a clear need to articulate these sentiments in a consistent way. “It shouldn’t be left to chance for each stakeholder to express the club’s identity,” the club added. “It’s our role to put the message across clearly.”
The typography of the city
The new brand narrative therefore helps to explain the essence of Sevilla FC across all markets and all areas of the club. But in order to make this narrative cut through, Sevilla FC needed to find a way to make its story unique, which is where its home city played a key role.
“We need to leverage our role as an integral part of the city of Seville to appeal to both domestic and international audiences,” the club explained. “This means rolling out local initiatives and activations in the city whenever possible, while internationally we need to leverage the global appeal of the city given its outstanding tourist appeal.”
One of the new visual links between club and city is the double 'L' that appears in the new brand identity. “This lettering dates back to 1946 and is very typical of fonts used in street signs in the city, especially the old streets,” the club explain. “In the study, we noticed the importance of lettering with historical overtones and the fact that Seville as a city steeped in history and folklore.”
This led to the acquisition of two different fonts which reflect the lettering seen in Seville, for use across traditional and digital media.
A unified brand and sub-brand
One of the key reasons for developing its own typography was to ensure unique representation of the Sevilla FC brand. The next step was to ensure it was implemented correctly.
There club was seeing widespread misuse of the club’s image, with many registered brands and sub-brands existing. This was not just inefficient from a cost perspective, its application was highly ineffective at ensuring that the club spoke with one voice.
“We asked the consulting firm to help us with the architecture and design of the brand and sub-brands,” the club said. “We saw that each department was applying the brand however it wanted. Now our brand architecture can be reorganised and simplified.”
All of the work carried out has contributed to the development of a brand new digital platform that allows the club to manage and control the brand in a much more streamlined and efficient way and allows it to communicate with stakeholders who are in contact with the Sevilla FC brand in a more coherent and cohesive manner, in keeping with the desired strategy.
The club will now complement its narrative with an audiovisual campaign that will convey Sevilla FC’s brand essence and showcase the club’s aspirations, its sporting and economic achievements and its ambition to claim the league title as well as continued honours in Europe.
“We want to compete with all of the rivals that traditionally should be within our grasp, whether they be Bayern Munich, Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan or AS Roma,” the club explained.
“These are rivals we used to playing against should be able to beat to keep moving forward.”
“Regardless of what happens on the pitch, we are committed to achieving the desired brand image for Seville off of it, in order to continue to achieve new goals and challenges,” the club concluded. “We will consolidate our position a top four club in the league but beyond this, as a real candidate to win LaLiga Santander.”