Logos of the NRL

Logos and coloured kits help to distinguish players on the fieldPhoto by Quino Al

Similarly to how logos and branding are important for businesses and other organisations, logos are also vital for sports teams in conveying their values and ethos and in separating them from their competition. For sports teams, though, finding a balance can be a little more difficult, as choosing a logo requires the consideration of a whole range of stakeholders. For example, the fans may want something that represents aggression and a “win-at-all-costs” attitude, whilst sponsors may not be willing to pay to associate themselves with a brand that conveys that same message.

At the same time, the branding should consider the team’s colours, logo and typography, all of which need to be reflective of the team’s values. Otherwise, the message could become confused and may not be as effective as intended. For this reason, it is usually common for the sports team’s name to include the city, region or state in which it is located, creating a tribal following for people looking to “root for their home team”.

Sporting Success

The value of the brand and its logo are increased significantly if the team achieves sporting success. Take Manchester United, the English association football (soccer) team, as an example—they are one of the most recognised sports brands in the world. Visit any country and you will not have to try too hard to find people who support Manchester United or even own some of its merchandise. Compare this to another English football team—Portsmouth; you’ll need to try considerably harder to find its international fan base. This also means that Manchester United is unable to radically change its branding, for risk of losing some of the recognition its brand has achieved.

Rugby fans filling a stadiumPhoto by Thomas Serer

NRL Logos

Logo NRL

In Australia’s National Rugby League, the logos and wider branding of teams are no different. The names generally reflect the team’s city or state and often display an animal or some other character or symbol of that region. Like with everything in life, some are better than others. Here is a look at some of the best NRL team logos.

The Sydney Roosters

Sydney Roosters logo

The Sydney Roosters (who, according to Oddschecker, are the current favourites to win the NRL Grand Final) have a solid logo. It prominently features an angry-looking rooster inside a shield, with the name displayed clearly and prominently. The colour red, which is a popular choice amongst sports teams, features heavily in the logo. The team’s other colours, white and blue, are also featured on the logo, which matches the branding of the players’ kit and helps to maintain continuity. The team is one of the oldest and most successful rugby league teams in Australia, with 14 wins in both the National Rugby League and the predecessor New South Wales Rugby League. Only two other teams, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St. George Dragons, have won more top flight titles.

The Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers logo

Featured on the Wests Tigers’ logo, the roaring tiger has become one of its strongest trademarks. Its logo colours are consistent, with the colour of the text—white and orange—mirroring the colours of the tiger. Both contrast nicely against the black that sits behind. As with the Roosters, the colours of the West Tigers’ players’ kit reflect the colours of the logo, helping to maintain continuity for fans.

The Newcastle Knights

The Newcastle Knights have an interesting logo that is not immediately obvious for a sports team. The shape of the logo, which features a knight’s helmet and medieval-looking text, has been designed to try and create a “K” shape—although this may not necessarily be immediately obvious if it is not pointed out to you. As compared to the very “typical” style of logo used by the Roosters, the Newcastle Knights’ logo is very distinct.

Logos for sports teams are very important in creating the team’s brand and distinguishing it from its rivals. The logo plays a key role in helping to create an affinity between fans and the team. If the team is successful in its sporting endeavours, the logo can become a strategic asset in developing and exploiting the brand on a global scale. Whilst association football teams like Manchester United have achieved this, Australian rugby teams have yet to emulate this success.