|Title||WE NEVER DROP THE BALL|
|Brand||V.LEAGUE: JAPAN VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE ORGANIZATION|
|Product / Service||BRAND EXPERIENCE|
|Category||A02. Rebrand / Refresh of an Existing Brand|
|Entrant||INTERBRAND Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Idea Creation||INTERBRAND Tokyo, JAPAN|
|William Woduschegg||Interbrand Japan||Chief Creative Officer|
|Yuki Muramatsu||Interbrand Japan||Design Director|
|Masakazu Okura||Interbrand Japan||Senior Designer|
|Hiroyuki Suzuki||Interbrand Japan||Designer|
|Kazuo Suguro||Interbrand Japan||Director|
How do you put an entire sport back on the map? While we kept the name V.LEAGUE, we knew the sport needed an entirely new approach, one that set it apart from the rest of Japanese sport but also used Japan’s cultural traits in new and inspiring ways. We found this approach by linking volleyball with the Japanese fighting spirit and fearless passion – ideas we could encapsulate by emphasizing the letter V, which became the heart of the concept. V was volleyball, of course. We also used it to evoke vividness, vision, and victory. Then we distilled these attributes into a rallying cry: WE NEVER DROP THE BALL, suggesting to the players that V.LEAGUE links great athletes with immaculate teamwork and utter dedication, and to audiences that when you go to a V.LEAGUE game, you’ll see something that is always out of the ordinary and never disappoints.
We knew V.LEAGUE needed a bold brand refresh. A half-hearted strategy would send the wrong message to players and fans. It needed total commitment. V.LEAGUE must look bold, confident, and in charge of its own destiny. So we took the game itself as our inspiration, deriving our new look from the fierce passions, precise teamwork, zigzagging movements and beautifully organized actions of the players. Our right-angled V motif formed an energetic rhythm suggesting bold, confident gameplay. Its dramatic 45-degree tilt suggested a player diving with outstretched arm to intercept a ball. The clean lines, angles and type suggested players reaching for the ball. The purposefully confrontational strong colors, framed on black and white, signaled a complete deliberate break from the league’s previous conservative look, suggesting fearless thinking. We avoided using strong Japanese accents in order to make the game seem bigger and more international.
The new brand concept and design were launched to the Japanese press and public in December 2017. They will be rolled out across the league this year (2018), and incorporated into the league’s new headquarters in the fall. The rebranding has the opportunity to reinvent volleyball as a must-see sport in Japan, to reach a global audience, and to be extended to numerous brand platforms and possibilities for merchandising. The December 2017 relaunch was a huge success and is already inspiring people all over Japan—we now find it everywhere, in clubs, on courts, even on the beach.