A load of people got fed up with the ERC, the body that ran the Heineken Cup - which was the European professional club rugby tournament. I will not go too much into why but they did not like the way they were running it, but it is very boring and ran on for a long time. After alot of arguing a new body was set up to run the European competition.
Whether or not you agreed with what happened, what an opportunity this was for the new body - a clean state and a couple of hundred million in TV money to pull together something very slick indeed. So what happened next? Firstly, the people who set up the new body, who had complained about the people who used to run the competition, then hired all those people to run the new competition!! Then came the name: "The European Rugby Champions Cup" Not very catchy at all - is that the best they could come up?
Finally to the logo and the most disappointing thing of all. I do not know who designed the logo but to simply put a rugby ball in the middle is pretty lazy stuff. I can just picture the meeting where the agency pitched the logo back to the new organisers. "A rugby ball in the logo .... clever, very clever indeed. We have to go with that!" Have a look at the below and you will see a few similarities with the old logo.
Not only that but I had a quick look at the Guinness Pro 12 Rugby teams - 8 out of 12 of them have a rugby ball as a prominent part of their logo.
Maybe I have got it wrong and a rugby ball has to be central to the logo of a rugby club or organisation, although The Rugby Championship did not feel the need to do it.
What an opportunity for the new organisers and their agency to do something really creative and exciting but instead they have ended up with something that is unoriginal, predictable and pretty uninspiring.
The good news is, the rugby is still brilliant but, except for creating slightly more competitive groups, I do not think the organisers can take too much credit for that !
According to Andy Kenny, managing director of sports and entertainment marketing agency brandRapport, organisers of the European Rugby Champions Cup will have no trouble landing sponsors. He regards it is a “premium rugby property”, though admits organisers would like to have at least one sponsor announced before the cup begins on October 17.