Creating a world-leading identity for the world's fastest-growing industry.
A global rebrand that positioned ESL as the leading brand in esports, the world’s fastest growing sport. Within a year of its launch, it had led to a positive transformation in customer perceptions, and results including a 90% increase in viewership and a 25% increase in sales of event tickets.
Working in partnership with ESL’s leadership team in four continents, we created the global brand strategy, architecture and identity that has been adopted across its network, and rolled out at events in 56 countries.
We began by helping ESL to define its purpose: 'To create a world where everybody can be somebody'.
Esports is the only sport that anyone can watch or play, at any time, from anywhere. It's the only sport where everyone gets a shot at glory.
This purpose statement is a summary of the true potential of the category and ESL's commitment to fulfil it. And aligns the ambition of the business to the ambition of its audiences.
We created a brand architecture that brought ESL's competitions together, under the ESL brand, for the very first time, and organised them into a clear hierarchy, from 'grassroots' online tournaments that anyone can take part in, to elite stadium events featuring the best players in the world.
By creating a radical new brand identity, we addressed one of ESL's most fundamental brand challenges: Esports isn't one game, it's many. Each of those games, has its own unique culture, demographic and visual codes. To become known as the category leader, ESL would need to attract all of these disparate, tribal audiences with only one brand.
We achieved this by building an identity around bold patterns with famous gaming scenes hidden within them. It is instantly recognisable as ESL, and it also rewards gamers, by inviting them to spot hidden images from the games they love. ESL now feels like a part of gaming culture, and its identity feels relevant to every gaming tribe.