Last fall, when the National Football League was moving its headquarters up the block from 280 Park Avenue to 345 Park, folks in the NFL Media group came across boxes of hats as they were cleaning out the offices. They were NFL.com promotional hats, with the traditional NFL Shield emblazoned on the front of the cap and an awkwardly placed “.com” sitting to the right of the bottom of the shield.
Those hats actually became obsolete a few years back when the NFL’s brand management team declared that the shield — with the letters N-F-L featured prominently — could not be used as a substitute for the actual acronym in a title or headline.
It’s a rule that was never completely obeyed (when the NFL Network launched the NFL RedZone channel in 2010, that logo used the Network logo in the title), but at least now the media group is becoming a more consistent, streamlined unit.
On April 26, the same day all 32 NFL teams get a new look when they add fresh talent at the annual NFL Draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the five entities that make up the NFL Media group will be unveiling a new look of their own.
The league’s creative group came up with a new typeface – the NFL’s own “Endzone Block” font – to create a uniform set of logos for NFL.com, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NFL Mobile and NFL Films. The logos are the result of several years of market research, in collaboration between the NFL’s creative group and outside design consultants.
Previously, all five media properties had a varying look and feel. Not all of them incorporated the shield, but that has changed.
“In conducting research into the logos for the NFL Media group we found that our fans preferred a more consistent look across the league’s platforms,” said NFL spokesman Dan Masonson. “The research also reinforced the fact that the NFL shield resonates with fans. With that in mind, we created a new streamlined logo system which strengthens brand identity across all platforms by prominently incorporating the NFL shield and features uniform typography and design.”
While the new logos won’t be public-facing until April 26, the style actually made its debut in December with the launch of NFL Magazine. For the sake of the NFL, we’re assuming the fate of the magazine had nothing to do with the logo: While not an official league property — it was published by a business partner, Dauphin Media Group — the monthly magazine announced last week it was shuttering after just four issues.
With live pick-by-pick coverage of the league’s three-day draft on NFL Network, NFL.com and NFL Mobile, the new logos will receive plenty of exposure right off the bat. Last year, approximately 1.04 million people watched the Network’s draft coverage on the first night, and the Network averaged 566,000 viewers over the three days. Fans accessed 11.4 million video streams on NFL.com during the draft, and nearly 1 million video streams were viewed through NFL Mobile.