Rugby clubs at an amateur level may wonder whether their rugby club should have brand guidelines and if they are to adopt brand guidelines how are they to create them.
No matter what level of ability your rugby club is it is imperative to have brand guidelines to ensure there is a unified approach to any material that your rugby club distributes . The brand guidelines will define your club story, logo style, typography and photography guidelines.
In order to create brand guidelines to be distributed to the management, marketing and communications team at your rugby club you need to consider the following elements
What is your back story and mission of the club
It is important for every club to have a story, whether your rugby club is in its infancy or whether the club has been around for over 100 years. The journey of the club can be the fascinating part of the story, perhaps your clubs came close to closing or there has been significant loss which has impacted the club.Ideally the back story will be one or two paragraphs long. Firstly, start with how the club was created, was it started by workers of a factory of or was it formed as a school team and developed into something greater? You should highlight significant games, maybe you played a significant club or you won a cup. To tie up the end of the back story, the rugby club should highlight its most recent achievement. Once the back story is produced make sure that the appropriate management in the club have signed off on the back story to ensure that no information is missed and everyone is happy. The back story should be interested into the brand guidelines and on the rugby club website.
When preparing your rugby clubs brand guidelines you need to ensure your rugbys clubs core values are listed within the guidelines.
Ideally there will be between three and five core values which can be documented and shared within the club. These core values can shape the media that is published be the club and the clubs mission statement.
Within the brand guidelines there should be the mission statement of the club. This is the direction which the rugby club intends to take and is the main message to perspective and current members of the rugby club.The management of the rugby club need to decide what direction they wish to take with the mission statement. This is the few sentences which defines your club, below is an example of a rugby club mission statement
It is the mission of the club to offer every family in the Greater Manchester area the opportunity to take part in rugby in a family friendly environment which encourages development and fun.
The mission statement should be included in the brand guidelines and referenced when any marketing for the club takes place. This is to ensure that any media or social media reflects the clubs mission statement.
How to use your club logo
The club logo is the pride of any rugby club, it is what defines you. Therefore, it is important that there are guidelines on how the logo is used. You want the logo to look the same on all posts and publications and to for the logo to be of the same quality, there is nothing more displeasing to the eye then seeing a pix-elated image on a website. As most rugby clubs have a significant history behind them there is most likely a number of logos floating around the club. It is imperative that the same logo is used on all communications, whether this be social media or physical documents. All logos should have a transparent background, as this means the logo can then go on any colour background. Having a transparent background makes your logo look professional and can be done free of charge and only for a little amount of time.
If you would like a transparent background upload your logo to Background Burner it will automatically remove the background. Choose the image that looks closest to being correct and then touch up the image. Then download the image as a .png file in order to keep the transparent background. Once this has been achieved, the rugby club needs to define in the brand guidelines where the logo needs to go. For example, on letters the logo will go at the top of the page in the center. On social media posts, the logo will go in the bottom right hand corner. By doing this everyone who deals with marketing with the rugby club has a point of reference and there is a unified approach.
How to choose a colour palette
Obviously a rugby club will already have a kit colour, perhaps this is red and blue. However, having just those two colours on a website and marketing posts can become quite boring and tedious. Therefore, within the brand guidelines it is important to have a five colour palette with various colours which can make your marketing enticing. By having the hex colour code, you can easily transpose these colours on to a marketing document.If you are wondering what a hex code, it is a six digit code of numbers and letters, which identifies different colours. If you have an image of your kit go to image picker and upload the image. This will then tell you the hex code of the red and blue of your kit, jot down these codes.
Then go to Coolors (which is a free tool) and insert the two hex codes so the colours are represented on the palette, lock the two colours in, You can now hit the space bar, until you find three over colours that match, then lock them in and download the palette as a .jpeg. The colour palette can then be inserted into your brand guidelines and everyone has a point of reference for the colours to be used on the website, marketing and social media posts.
Another reason to have brand guidelines for your rugby club is to ensure that the correct typography is being used through the entire club. For instance, you may have a specific fonts for titles within marketing material and on the website. The font, could be Arial Bold, at size 25 in a colour defined in your colour palette. However, it would look unorganised if your social media team used a differenet font such as comic sans in size 42. In the typography rules of the brand guidelines you can identify:
The font, font weight and text size of title;
The font, font weight and text size of paragraph text;
The colour of the hyperlink text
by having typography rues within the brand guidelines there is conformity across the whole rugby club.