Branding agency Aesop has created a logo for tennis player Andy Murray, featuring his initials and the number 77. But how does it compare to his competitors’?
The logo, designed by Dan Calderwood at branding agency Aesop, uses ’77’ as a reference to Murray’s recent Wimbledon win on July 7, which made him the first British man in 77 years to top the tournament (it’s also the name of his management agency). Due to launch at this year’s Australian Open, it will be used on his on-court bag and training t-shirts before being applied to a range of clothing and merchandise.
Calderwood says: “We wanted to create a modern mark that captures Andy’s energy and spirit whilst subtly referencing his affinity with the number ’77′ … It’s simple and striking, with heraldic cues that echo his dominance on the court.”
The agency has yet to release images showing how it will look on bags and t-shirts, but has shared pictures of it in several colourways:
The formerly media-shy Murray may not seem like a player who’d be particularly keen on launching his own personal brand, but with most of his competitors already selling clothing and merchandise, it was about time the Scottish star followed suit.
Rival Roger Federer’s heraldic looking marque is also based on his initials, but feels more like the kind of symbol you’d see on a celebrity fragrance or fashion line rather than training equipment – though if any tennis star were to launch his own aftershave and clothing range, it would surely be Federer:
Nadal’s (pictured below on a cap available via his website) references his nickname ‘the raging bull’:
While Novak Djokovic’s was supposedly inspired by the Greek alphabet, medieval Serbian lettering and birds in flight, as demonstrated by a video released by the player on YouTube:
Among leading female tennis stars, neither Venus nor Serena Williams seem to have their own logos, though the marque for Venus’ Eleven clothing line is based on her initials. Maria Sharapova, who also has her own candy brand Sugarpova, often uses a marque based on her signature (visible on her website).
Of course, this is nothing new – Nike launched the iconic jumpman logo for Michael Jordan branded sneakers over 25 years ago, and almost every major athlete now has their own official fan site or product range – but while this was previously reserved for stars with iconic status, it’s now simply commonplace.
Creating a marque which captures the essence of a sports star is a tricky task: for athletes like Jordan, Mo Farah or Usain Bolt, a signature move can help create a recognisable symbol (Farah’s marque, designed by Four23, references his Olympic wins and his habit of spreading his arms like a bird when he reaches the finish line, before adopting the less majestic ‘Mobot’ stance, while Bolt’s features a silhouette of the star in his world famous lightning bolt pose):
Image via Usain Bolt
While for others, initials remain the most popular choice. Sawdust recently created some sleek monograms for Nike products fronted by NBA stars Maya Moore and Blake Griffin:
Maya Moore monogram, by Sawdust for Nike
Blake Griffin’s logo, by Sawdust for Nike
And Cristiano Ronaldo’s CR7 label, which sells underwear and shirts endorsed by the footballer, uses his initials and shirt number at Manchester United alongside his name in full to avoid any confusion:
With a reference to his Wimbledon win, Murray’s has an added personal touch, while also providing a little advertising for his agency (which happens to be on the lookout for new clients). The angular design will likely prove divisive, and I’m not sure everyone will immediately recognise the ’77’ reference, but it’s a distinctive marque with a strong athletic look.