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Introducing our new badge

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  • A modern, digital-friendly new identity for our world-renowned Club.
  • New microsite launches to explain the level of detail that has gone into the process.
  • Brand new hummel training and travel wear featuring the new badge launches tonight.

Wigan Warriors are proud to unveil a world class new look for a world class sporting institution.  

In a bold and ambitious move for a club that always leads where others follow, we have created a striking new badge for the modern, digital era, aimed at inspiring a new generation of fans by creating a visual identity that fuses contemporary references to the history of both our Club and town, with every element of the design having a specific connection to one or both.

In the most notable change to the Club’s long-standing crest, a Brigante Warrior now features at the heart of the design, in keeping with the identity that the Club has held throughout the Super League era, whilst also retaining several elements that are crucial to recognising Wigan’s proud heritage.

The decision to create the new badge stems from extensive discussions between the Club and Super League as part of a wider vision for the competition and has been brought to life thanks to leading design agency, Nomad, off the back of their eye-catching rebrands for both the Premier League and Sky Sports.  

The content and key elements of the badge have been the subject of extensive conversations and research involving a wide cross-section of important people inside and outside the Club, including our ownership group, senior staff, partners and a wide cross-section of fans – male and female, young and old – who have played a crucial but discrete role in this hugely important process.

To do the full story justice, fans are strongly advised to visit our brand new badge microsite that has gone live tonight to explain how the full process has transpired through videos, animations and superb imagery, as well as providing fascinating depth behind what has made up the badge, which includes the following key components:

  • The iconic Northern Soul circular shape, synonymous with our town 
  • One of Wigan’s founding Brigante warriors at the centrepiece, with noticeably piercing eyes
  • The first year rugby was played in Wigan (1872
  • The Club and town’s revered ‘Ancient and Loyal’ motto is retained
  • The Club’s iconic Cherry and White hoops  
  • Retention of the shield from the former crest with a modern twist
  • The Club’s world-famous name  

Fans can already get a taste of how the new badge looks on the exciting new hummel training and travel range for 2021 through some stunning location shots within the microsite, with the two ranges going on sale from around 7:30pm this evening via store.wiganwarriors.com.

DSC_8326-1024x683.jpgA selection from our exciting new hummel training range.

Supporters won’t have to wait long to see the new home kit that will be the first to be adorned by the new identity, with the design set to be unveiled this coming Wednesday evening (4th November).

Accompanying the new badge is a new strapline and ethos that will accompany the Club’s communications, with #NeverGonnaStop reflecting Wigan Warriors’ relentless desire to succeed. Taken from a line in our fans’ popular ‘We Are The Boys’ chant, it is a strong and confident message to portray, in keeping with our desire to come through the current Covid-19 challenge fighting and striving to continually better ourselves, in spite of whatever setbacks the ongoing pandemic may have caused to different extents within our sport.

Reflecting on a long and emotive process, Wigan Warriors executive director, Kris Radlinski, has explained why the Club has embarked on such a critical change, stating: “As part of Super League’s adoption of a broadcast-first digital strategy, they did an individual audit of Super League clubs – to inform clubs where they thought they were at. The main feedback we got was that our crest was outdated, old fashioned and probably not recognisable. This reaffirmed what we had been thinking for a while – that we needed to do something with our badge.    

“We’ve made no secret over the past few years that we need to attract a younger crowd. We do have an ageing fanbase, so we need to look at different ways in which we can engage and inspire the next generation in this hyper-connected world we are now living in.    

“My chairman, Ian Lenagan, and I, who between us, have got around 120 years’ worth of invested commitment and emotion in the Club, feel as though now is the right time to do it. We know that fans are consuming sports differently, so we took a look at the current sporting landscape to see what’s working for some of the biggest clubs in the world and fed that into the process.  

“The whole process has taken just over a year, from the initial brainstorming meetings, through the design process and then ultimate sign off. With a project of this size, consultation from all stakeholders has to be an important consideration, which is why speaking to a cross-section of fans was critical in this process.  

“One of the key people involved in this process wasn’t from Wigan, but was taking a look into the eyes of the initial draft of our Warrior and said that he had always seen a steely glare in the eyes of people from Wigan; something forged deep within them that showed real passion and determination. That really got us thinking and we set about ensuring that the Brigante warrior on the badge, representing the very early history of our town, had exactly that intense look about him.   

“We’ve retained some of the other non-negotiables like the Ancient and Loyal motto and of course our name, as well as bringing in other elements of our identity for the first time with the inclusion of 1872 and the Cherry and White hoops within a Northern Soul-inspired circle, which provides another very contemporary reference to our town’s proud history.”

Kris-Radlinski-green-jacket-1024x683.jpeWigan Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski sporting the Club’s new look

With 2020 having been a hugely challenging year, Radlinski also admitted why now was as good a time as any to commit to a change of this magnitude, adding: “This process has been going on behind-the-scenes throughout 2020 whilst we have been trying to keep the business and the sport alive, so we’ve put ourselves under an extreme amount of pressure to try and create something which takes us forward post-Covid-19.     

“I like to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we are coming out the other side. I almost see this as a beacon of hope. We are going to come out on the other side of this strong and this badge is going to guide us. We all know just how important 2021 is from a broadcast perspective and we would like to think that this modern way of working will show that we are not remaining static. We are proactively looking at ways to improve.  

“In addition to the badge change, we will also be enforcing a new working culture, in which our workplace will, again, bring us in line with all leading companies in the world. Using staff picked values and standards, we will drive quality in everything we do to provide a superior product on and off the field.   

“The old crest will always be there in our heritage and will be visible in relevant circumstances, helping to lead us into the brave new world by reminding us of where we come from and where we want to be heading. We’ve had so many players who have worn that crest and we respect that, and we have to never ever forget that. But we also have to look forward. This is us looking forward and saying this has to happen to keep us up to speed with the modern world, modern sport and modern broadcast and digital strategy.   

“All we ask is that fans approach this with an open mind and understand that we are doing it to make us better and improve everything we offer to them.

“I am confident we are doing this for the right reasons, which is to make this Rugby League Club a better club.   

“This year has made us all review our life goals and priorities. The challenges that the world is facing are the most difficult in many of our lifetimes. Regardless of people’s initial reactions, this has to be viewed as a positive. We are making a bold and brave statement to look forward with optimism and hope. We don’t want to just exist. Come with us on this journey.” 

The Club intends to ensure that the existing crest still has a role to play in the Club’s future, not least with the 150th anniversary of rugby league in Wigan on the horizon in 2022. The crest will still feature within heritage ranges and on occasions where a formal ‘coat of arms’ style design is required, such as potential suit jacket embroidery for major finals.

Brad SingletonBrad Singleton in the new-look Wigan Warriors hummel training range.

Stuart Watson, partner at Nomad and the man behind the finished design, admits that he felt a considerable weight of pressure to create a new emblem that the fans can be proud to wear – not least from within his own family – explaining: “I’m from Bolton and I studied in Wigan and this [existing] crest is on the living room of my parents’ home. I know exactly what it means – to not just the Club but to the community as well. For any club, it’s not actually about how it looks, it’s what it means.  

“Clubs are always a challenge – you’ve got to be very delicate and rightly so. The word ‘brand’ is a dirty word – these are not brands – this is so much more than a brand to fans. This is part of their life.  

“We have to marry two things: something that is very personal and very meaningful, with the commercial realities of what we’re trying to do, which in essence, having a better product on TV and having fuller stadia.  

“This new badge is about trying to capture the success on the pitch off it – to be more commercially successful and to be more engaging to younger audiences. We wanted to bring all that heritage in, but make something that’s super progressive for the future.  

“The world has changed, and we need to be much more digitally focused. Everyone is watching things on their phones; the way clubs interact with their fans is through social media. Those icons [on traditional detailed crests] become really small and they don’t hold up. It’s not the fault of any old logo, it’s just that the world has changed, and we’ve gone digital. 

“When you have this massive change immediately it’s a shock. I would encourage people to sit with it, be patient and it will grow – I’m very confident about that. I hope it will become a huge part of Wigan’s success and future.” 

To experience a full interactive display of exciting content that helps to bring the new badge and its story to life, visit our badge microsite now.

Be among the first fans to get your hands on the new look by checking out our new 2021 hummel training kit and travel wear in our online store from 7:30pm this evening.

1900X490-TRAINING-KIT-1024x264.jpg 1900X490-TRAVEL-WEAR-1024x264.jpg WWBadgeBanner-1024x512.jpg

The post Introducing our new badge appeared first on Wigan Warriors Blog.

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