Branding the Brazilian Team

Why the Brazilian Team must transform their brand


Trans.form:
To make a person or thing change its form; to change the form of; to metamorphose; to transfigure. 
(Dicionario Michaelis, 2015)

This project aims to contribute to a better evolution and development of the sport and the entertainment as a strengthening process of a business through its brand’s perspective. New ways to deliver a message through the brand’s perspective will be specified during the presentation of images, in order to rescue the pride and contribute to a better perception of the image of the Brazilian National Football Team. Brazil is a country with high sporting potential and can have its product appreciated by the beginning of a movement that helps to transform the sport and the football which is played here. This project shows a new way of thinking that may have reflexes and benefic influences over the entire Brazilian sport system, starting with our most beloved and so far most successful sport.

 Throughout the years, the companies started realizing the importance of the brand in the social realm, making use of the brand as a management tool. It’s time to show how the better practices about brand management can optimize the brands in the sport and entertainment segment. Inspired by cases such as MLS, the French Football Federation, NBA, the Olympic Games, the German National Football Team, among other cases.

PROJECT
Branding the Brazilian Team

CLIENT
Personal Project

 

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It’s not new that the fans are currently unsatisfied with the Brazilian team. A new period of questioning and mainly of reinvention has 

started, which has helped to expose problems that may even have previously existed, but that had not emerged such as today. The level of professionalism of the football clubs, the never-ending fight for the sport’s evolution as a social phenomenon and the development of the athletes’ mentality in relation to the Brazilian identity have shown that our preparation regarding the sport is still not ideal and it is far from being perfect. 

However, it is possible that all of this was already like this, but perhaps we were in a comfort zone. Even surrounded by so many problems, we still could win the Cup five times. Our team, also tenderly called “amarelinha”, entered the football field to enchant and shine. We suffered some hard defeats which served as a lesson in the field, and many star players have sprung up. But, for the first time, our last worst defeat for Germany during the semifinals of the World Cup made clear some problems outside the field. And none of this would be so significant and importante if it weren’t true.

 The thing is that we do need ideas to strenghten the sport and mainly to restate the idea that we have of the Brazilian team. And it’s only right to work on the team’s strenghts in all its activities. I try to kick off this enquiry through the meaning of brand for a club, showing its potential as management tool, alongside its economical potential and in tangible values. 

The intention is to show in a simple manner how the Brazilian team can assert its brand to start a true transformation of the sport, given its importance in the surroundings. And why the team? Because it is an example of success of the country that we have. It has this power to be the example, be it for other sports, be it for other activities in which Brazil has also a potential. A transformation and a brand repositioning, seeking for values that assert its identity, have the power to start a movement which transforms the perception of the brand and the Brazilian team’s value.

 The fact is that the design or the form of visual expression of a company or club are not to be changed only by taking the design into account. It is wrong to modernize the drawing without some business strategical thinking, because it often turns out to be a personal interpretation of a brand. The transformation and the evolution project of a brand have this strategical vision in order to strenghten the business for its target public, in this case, the fans.

 Before showing all the reasons for the proposed brand change for the Brazilian team, it’s necessary to discuss some topics. A brand is neither a logo, nor a drawing. According to Marty Neumeier, author of the book The Brand Gap, a brand is one’s feeling towards a company, product or service. Each person has a perception regarding a team, a player, a club. This is brand. Another example: saying that you like Barcelona’s symbol or not is not brand. When someone says “Ah, the Barcelona team is good at passing, they are very efficient”, then this is brand. It is the image or the feeling that each person has in relation to something. And yes, we think about the national team’s brand image in every level, such as a product, a service or even as management. 

The Brazilian team needs a new brand. And changing the brand doesn’t mean only changing the logo, but changing the perception that people have towards the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) – the Brazilian Football Confederation -, the coaches, the players and the technical commission. The change of brand, in this case, takes place by the renewal of the spirit, the renewal of the hope. It is only right to apply this concept onto this situation, in which the Brazilian team stands.

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 But what does it have to do with the Brazilian sport? 

Simple: we have the most successful football team of the world, in terms of accomplishments. And to achieve it, we have the greatest passion of the universe. It may represent much more our folk than we think. As such, it should be our reference in the sport, inside and outside the field. The National team has the potential to inspire the sport evolution in Brazil. 

Another thing that is closely related to the brand is the consumption. The brands, during their historical evolution, stopped being only a consumption parameter a long time ago. Nowadays they are, first of all, memories and loyalty. We want brands that shall be remembered and that not only have a place inside the head, but in the heart o four consumers/clients etc. We want to bestow an emotional meaning to simple things of our daily lives. Brands are made to be remembered. 

But how do we transform it into a precious product? There lies the challenge. It is itself a precious product. Our mission is not only to try to strenghten the brand management in the Brazilian sports market, but also outside it, offering a better competitive difference than the other teams, assuming other national teams as main competitors.

 That means that we fight, in product, to be the first choice. When someone is in doubt which product they will consume, they will fall back upon the brands to emotionally differentiate products which are, in theory, the same. For example, if you are going to purchase a camera, how can you know which one is the best, if they both have the same specifications? Nowadays, we use the criterion of branding. The one that you know more, or the one you have a perception of quality. In the case of the National team, we will fight for the attention of sport consumers during the broadcasts and for the ticket purchase. A strong brand can make people watch necessarily the Brazilian team, instead of the German, the French and other ones. We fight from many fronts, when it comes to sport products, and the work is intense, so that the brand always makes the choice easier.

 The social and emotional function, which is represented by the Brazilian National Team, the Seleção, is very wide. And through it that we can create a revolution in thinking, posture and culture in our country. We know the function the sport has been teaching us lessons that we carry on during our lives. It is time to explore new ways that help us build a better Seleção and a better country. The team’s brand can inspire and influence not only a sporting development, but also social, economical and touristic, given that these are profited areas that are related to the development of the sport. 

It’s evident that, when we discuss about the team’s brand, there is a comparison and an urge to define roles of the CBF and the Brazilian team. Both are parts of a same system, however they have distinct perception values. Because the CBF is closely related to the football management, their brand is more shaken and vulnerable than the team’s brand. The team’s brand is shaken in the field, with defeats and players that do not play their expected roles in and out of the field. But the team’s brand also becomes stronger when they win a match or a championship. The same does not happen to CBF’s brand. The football environment is frequently remembered and understood – sometimes wrongly – by the people as a “dirty” environment, which harms the CBF’s brand. The corruption scandals inside FIFA and in the World Cups undermined a little the perception of the entity that manages the football in Brazil.

 And in this project, where we aim to strenghten the team’s brand, I understand that it’s best if we don’t mix the values of CBF with the ones of the Brazilian team, because this way we can try to make something closer to reality, with attainable ideas. I believe that we can create a stronger brand that develops both the entity  and the team, developing and evolving them in a way that the product will neither be confused nor harmed by one another. It is not the time to try to understand how each one should act, but we shall ignore and consider this detail as a flaw; we should see it as an entity that offers a product. And yes, in the meanwhile we are referring to the team when we mean the Brazilian team, the Seleção, and to the CBF when we are dealing with the management of the entity. Both represent out nation, however in different moments. 

Strenghtening the brand of the Seleção – and also in the case, of the CBF – is the kick-off for a more evolved, developed and perhaps even fairer football. It is an opportunity that we have to show our strength, which is asleep. We have giant clubs and institutions that can display a great entertaining show and compete with other brands in a global level. Changing the Brazilian team’s image can help create a movement towards a better football. And with that, we believe there may be even bigger waves that bring efficiency to the management.

 It’s also not up to us to enquire and argument here about the match calendar, methodologies, sponsorship and other bases that cover the practice of the sport. Our mission in this project has this small task to try to transform and enhance the football without making drastic changes and that can suffer other impacts. There is much talk about the Brazilian football in terms of competitiveness, but I insist to say that this brand change that CBF has purposed, is maybe a spark that will influence other clubs and entities to develop better practices for the sport management

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The problem is that, as time passed, the team started selling an image of success in the field. This caused the perception of our

seleção amarelinha to be wrongly perceived. This is the type of problem that we face when there is no strategy for a brand, from which an image is managed. In our case, the CBF has never changed their speech about the product they manage. They have always valued the stars, always assuming that after the current players, new ones will always come up.

 

The result from it is simple. There is a result expectation for a product over which the team has no control or becomes independent of its actions to ensure, in the case of the emergence of new stars, the victories in worldwide championships.

And that’s why the suggestion of this project is to transform the team’s brand through its speech and its communication. What I understand from the perception of the team’s brand is that it is not the stars, but any Brazilian’s hability to improvise. We are talking about attitudes and behaviours inside and outside the field, something that is common – even rooted - for all the Brazilian population, and we must take advantage of this. We create here a brand that does not make the promise of victories, but one whose speech is turned to the real meaning of being a Brazilian: Being creative and improvising in a time of adversity.  

"And that’s why the suggestion of this project is to transform the team’s brand through its speech and its communication. What I understand from the perception of  the team’s brand is that it’s not the stars, but any Brazilian’s hability to improvise."

The Seleção enchanted the world – not the victories. In terms of sport, Brazil is not only football. This Nike commercial for the Olympic Games shows the Brazilian potential for the sport.

And that’s what is important. It is time to take advantage of this moment and strenghten the team’s brand, such as a beginning of a 

movement that values the management of the brands in the sport. It is the moment to inspire other athletes, managers and fans to believe that Brazil can be a country that fights for titles in all the sports they compete, offering an entertainment service of quality for their fans.

When we want to make projects like this, we focus on the types of return on investment we want to have. First of all comes the business’ health, which can not make loss. But we also think about how we can enhance a product in its most immeasurable possible way: the fan’s passion.

Visibility and brand partnership are important for the sport business because both brands will profit. The sponsor must always have an aligned discourse with the sponsored, defending values that complement each other and that both create even stronger brands. All the concerned parts, from fans to the sport material suppliers, contribute for the construction of a club’s brand. And none of them must sacrifice the meaning of its brand only by exhibiting. At this point, I am not going to try to show which brands have this similar position, but it is something that must not be ignored.

 

The risk is to cause an opposite effect: confusing messages, where the sponsor and the sponsored defend different ideas. Let’s suppose, as an example, that one of the sponsors of the National team upholds a brand speech that doesn’t support the sportsmanship, but the victory by whatever means necessary, without thinking about the consequences, with a thought that harms the rival. How can these brands build an aligned speech, once the team treasures values, such as teamwork and the union of all for a collective, greater good? There are several cases, where it happens, but we are not going to detail them in this part of the project.

Nowadays we are way ahead when we talk about the return on investment in the sports. The clubs have a mindset turned tolicensing and the brand’s exhibition, the quality of the transmissions are getting better in terms of delivering the product and they are gradually segmenting the market with new sports and the market has shown that the investment is worth. People pay a lot for products that they like to consume. And the passion that the sport has as a business helps influence the perception some people have in relation to some business, for example. Loyalty becomes an effective business, although it’s still crawling, when it comes to marketing in Brazil.

However, we are making a project about branding and, beyond consumption, we are talking about memories. The emotional connection the brands bring along helps create confidence relations between the company and the consumer. And turning intangible values into business is a challenge that we have before thinking about marketing, the exhibition and the selling. Above all, we are making a project to differentiate the product, aligning the discourse of the national team with their roots and their essence. 

We allow ourselves to dream and to test ideas in the practice to find ways that may be worthwhile and that have potential in the sport market. We can assess the media return, the return of sponsoring and even assess where it’s worth investing the money in quality sport. The emotional connection is however only measured when the brands that are orbiting around the sport start in fact to make the difference in the life of the fans and consumers. When we notice that our fan understood the message, from which an expansion of the brand movement takes place, we know we did a good work.

There are efficient ways to measure the value of a brand. And together, the brands in the sport context converge to a positive construction of the image people will have of the clubs, the businesses and the players. Our role is, above all, to strenghten this confidence relation, in order to start thinking later about the revenue increase of the envolved brands, as well as the necessity of exposition, and mainly to engage consumers and new consumers to accept and use new products. 

In a world where the other clubs, inside and outside the football, and other teams have already started this brand changing movement, it’s impossible to leave the Brazilian national team behind. The sport offers this kind of opportunity for those who are losing: there will always be another chance.

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If we want to create a new movement for the football and the sport, we must look ahead. And for the brand of the Seleção, we must 

not only elaborate a speech that approaches only our conquests. Our new speech must be based upon how we conquered all our titles, highlight our sport spirit and our skills with the ball.

 In other words, we do not want a brand that worships the past, but sees it as inspiration to write our future. Our team is known for its style, skill and success. The Seleção Amarelinha is a blend of the football that came off with a unique irreverence. We can endlessly discuss what the true image of the Brazilian football is and perhaps the end of the conversation will always be the same. It doesn’t matter if our current players have the same skills, strength or style our previous teams had. It doesn’t matter if the Seleção of 82 was better than the one of 94. What really matters for us is that all the players and, even we, Brazilians, have one thing in common: we came from the same place, we are all fruit of the same initial simplicity. We started playing scrimmage football, we ripped off our toe caps, we played football in our neighbor’s house, we took the ball to the beach and we used flip-flops as posts.

There are many project references for sport branding, however I firstly present a specific example to show an idea of brand 

changing: the Paris Saint-Germain. According to the team’s website, a new visual identity translates the strategical principles of Paris Saint-Germain. 

It is a posture change, mainly by emphasizing only the name Paris in the upper part of the circle. Apart from the colours and the more modern forms, which updates the product design, the images show that a new strategy of the club is to become the team with direct reference to Paris, making use of the elegance and other qualities of the city to translate the team’s value.

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 In summary: why should we separate the team from the city, when they together are stronger? And more: the new strategy of the 

brand undoubtedly shows more ambition, more willpower and more determination. According the release in the PSG’s website, the new ambitious strategy is the first step to create a leading brand for the team – A new brand to dream even bigger. 

If we analyse the main reasons to change a brand, we usually find the same reasons: to translate new strategies, usually ambitious, to give hope and support to explore new horizons. And why don’t we have it in the Brazilian national team? 

Another interesting case is the Cleveland Browns, a traditional NFL team.

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Fonte: Brand New

The main change is – easily perceived – the colour, but the meaning of change is something bigger. Observing the project for a 

couple of minutes, it’s possible to notice that the previous version becomes old (not bad, but outdated). Naturally it’s a simple change, but alongside it the effort of always being up-to-date is always shown, trying to amplify the identification with the fans. A project to come out the paper as soon as it’s ready, with a rapid implementation.

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 Inter Milan has also recently renovated their brand, but as an evolution of the current team’s strategy. The project, defended as 

“A voice for a special team” brings new perspectives for the brand’s speech, applied on more than 1000 products that were brought by the club to market. 

 The greatest matter, when it comes to sport brands, specially football, is the value of tradition. Many think one must not touch the brand, the colours and other visual and sensorial properties of a club. But the fact is, renewing is necessary to survive. We change over time, be it how we speak, walk or think. It’s natural. And through communication, the businesses must keep up with these changes. The best part of this story is that there is indeed a space for the new, for the modern. We are constantly in search of different things.  

And that is how design helps project a stronger brand beyond uniform and the logos themselves.The so-glorified tradition in football serves us as a compass to guide the clubs and show that each one has an identity and a way of acting and thinking. But it must not limit us and hinder us from testing new things and create an invisible barrier that makes us stuck in the past. 

When we talk about modernizing, we don’t mean only the visual, but also the positioning of the product in the market, as well as the way the teams play, the way of thinking of the athletes, the new management forms, tactics etc.

3 good modern references of brand positioning from another national teams:

 

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As the example below shows us, even iconic brands modernize, although sometimes to a lesser extent. But it is still worth 

remembering that the meaning behind these changes is something way bigger.

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Fonte: http://urbanpeek.com/

There are two main forms to communicate a change of a brand: The evolution and the revolution.

Evolução de marca / Brand Evolution

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Revolução de marca / Brand Revolution

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Changes are made to generate impact. If the apprearance change comes alongside a posture one, the outcome can be surprising. 

We search what is new and impossible in this step of the project. This is the time when the aspiration and the willpower have a greater voice.

Referências / References

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Processo de criação / Creative Process

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In this creative process of the brand of the Seleção, many things were taken into account. But all the changes were made upon 

the idea of evolution, where the perception of the brand wouldn’t generate a negative reaction, and the speech would translate in its essence the real meaning of the posture of our team.

 

With sentences that exalt our qualities, and not our victories, the announcing platforms and other communication formats were made. Through them, our identity is valued by the yellow colour as main element, where the colour in the shape of smoke blends with the forming image of the players, an allusion to the fans pushing the team forward. The incentive words and strength are written in green, so that the pieces transmit the true visual expression that we have when we are rooting for the Seleção – the streets painted in green and yellow.

The visual signature of the brand was created with a typography whose style is simple and traces back to a time when Brazil started developing their football, with a somewhat nostalgic aesthetic, running away from the technology. The jerseys receive particular attention in this step of the project. They are the greatest embodiment of the brand’s meaning, they are the passion in form of product. The first jersey didn’t suffer great changes and was made with green details on the jersey, granting more identity for this composition, which is itself iconic. For the second one, the white of the shorts was altered, taking into account FIFA’s appareal and kit standards for competitions, always demanding for a greater differentiation between the teams in the field.

The jerseys received every time more details, making that some of them looked alike during the match. Some teams have more versatile uniforms, where it’s possible to change the colour of the number and of the short without causing a great impact. But in the case of the Brazilian national team, we have four main colours in the first strip, and for the second we can’t bring so many colours if we have to have the possibility of adaptation when the team enters the field. Thus, a solution was to use the yellow colour in the second jersey, the blue one, adding details in yellow, mainly because the white short of the team is often used in the first kit when the home team wears a short with a darker tone of blue. With two colours, the visual integrity of the team in the field is enhanced, apart from becoming more modern.

Taking this into account, the third created jersey makes use of a white short, so that it’s possible to change the colour of the uniforms, if necessary, however without changing the character of the team. The problem is that the third strip was entirely white. Until 2014, the white strip uniform, which was used during the final match of the World Football Cup of 1950,  was one of the strips that brought along a mix of emotions, with sadness, distress and fear. A colour that had remembered so far the love and the warmth of the Brazilian folk towards the national team. However, after that, many things changed. As a new beginning, mainly when the uniform is a product that can change every year, we can take the permission and wear again a uniform with such a beautiful colour.

The other pieces complete the project, materializing the idea of the brand in the several materials where the national team comes up, also alongside their sponsor. The evolution of the shield of Brazilian national team was studied to keep their main characteristics, regardless the addition of the stars.

The brands of other services that CBF offers, such as the Museum of the Brazilian Football National Team, CBF.com and the CBF TV, were also redesigned in order to ensure coherence with the brand of the Seleção.

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The intention of this project is not, and never was, to criticize our current sport system, but to search options, to purpose improvements and to encourage the technical evolution of the teams, athletes and competitions in our country. And there is no other solution: we only find the mistakes when we test new ideas. There were several reasons that brought me to start a project with such magnitude. The goal of this analysis was precisely to show new horizons for the sport in Brazil, causing a change and an evolution of our current situation, showing management potential for the sport, making our sport somehow stronger and more competitive. Thus, I am going to use a subject I master, starting by the brand management and applying it on the football.

All the changes that we wish in the football or even the suggestions for better practices, such as the calendar change, the creation of independent leagues, the financial fair-play, the increase of interactivity between fans and teams, better arenas, better coaching, more efficient players and more powerful coaches. Everything starts with a movement that aims at the collective good – and not individual – of the entities and the managers of the sports’ area. And the brand transformation is one of the ways to contribute with this change. And when the coat of arms becomes a brand, the team starts offering a service with value and it helps the club become economically more developed.

 

The sport that we have as entertainment option and that we practice nowadays is too small for such a big country with such a great potential.

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O conteúdo apresentado neste projeto é de total responsabilidade de seus autores e não representa os interesses de terceiros. Este é um projeto pessoal, de cunho cultural e científico, que não tem fins lucrativos, apenas o intuito de promover a discussão e exemplificar conceitos e ideias. Imagens retiradas de Google.com_
 
The content featured in this project is a responsibility of the authors and does not represent the interests of third parties. This is a personal project of cultural and scientific nature, with non-profit propose, only to promote discussion and illustrate concepts and ideas. Images taken from Dollarphotoclub.com and Google.com. 

Direção e execução de projeto:Ricardo Carvalho
www.rccarvalho.com
rccarvalho.com@gmail.com

Revisão: 
Marilia de Oliveira
revisoeseabnt@gmail.com

Tradução:
Fernando Toledo
fernando.toledo@usp.br