Following the recent media coverage of Tiger Woods' horrific car crash, I realised I had never noticed his unique TW monogram logo before. This intrigued me to look into other famous Sports stars logos; some of which may not be so familiar.
1. TIGER WOODS (USA, GOLF) A simple yet competent symmetrical monogram lockup, which thankfully doesn't slip into any cliched Golf metaphors. The strength of this particular design is its reversability; it can be placed onto light or dark backgrounds and has a thoroughly sleek and professional feel.
2. NAOMI OSAKA (JAPAN, TENNIS) This is actually her sponsor Nikes' branded logo revealed in 2020. Flat, geometric shapes create a silhouette of her name and is hyper-modern, suiting her youth and energy.
3. MICHAEL JORDAN (USA, BASKETBALL) Arguably one of the most famous Sportsperson logos of all time; aided both by Nikes' marketing and the success of the man himself, the 'Jumpman' silhouette was created in 1988 by Tinker Hatfield and is based on a staged photo for Life magazine. Hatfield himself is the legendary designer of many shoes in the Jordan and Air Max ranges.
4. MUHAMMED ALI (USA, BOXING) With the immense legacy of a sportsperson such as Ali, a suitably legendary logo is no mean feat. Fortunately, with his silhouetted body wearing boxing gloves raised in victory, set on a strong square plinth representing a trophy, the job is done well enough.
Interestingly, another Muhammad Ali logo was revealed for the recently renamed Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in June 2019; the outer silhouette of a butterfly representing his famous phrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”.
5. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (GERMANY, RACING DRIVER) Designed in the early 90's, Michaels' logo slips into the category of marks which attempt to create a silhouette of the sport in which they compete (here, an F1 car). Since Michaels' tragic skiing accident in 2013 and ongoing recuperation there has sadly been no need to change his branding.
6. PELÉ (BRAZIL, FOOTBALL)
With his full name of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, and like many South American Footballers Pelé was given his short nickname during his School years. Pelé himself stated he had no idea what it meant - and the word has no known meaning in Portuguese. His upwards-slanted, flowing, scripted signature beautifully evokes his playing style; with the additional flair of a curled form representing the acute diacratic above the e.
7. TAZIO NUVOLARI (ITALY, RACING DRIVER) Legendary Italian Racing Driver Nuvolari competed in Formula 1, the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, and the Le Mans 24-hour race. His monogram logo is surprisingly graphical and bold for the era (and somewhat reminiscent of the famous New York Yankees 'NY' monogram - itself first seen in 1909) and was sewn directly onto his Racing overalls.
8. KEN GRIFFEY JR. (USA, BASEBALL)
A former MLB professional baseball player, I'd seen this elegant Ken Griffey Jr. logo before but not heard it referred to as the 'Swingman' - a rather fun reference to Michael Jordans 'Jumpman'. The logo focuses on his famous swing yet curiously avoids any depiction of a baseball.
9. LIONEL MESSI (ARGENTINA, FOOTBALL) Messi is an Argentinian professional footballer who is arguably one of the best footballers of the current era. His symmetrical brandmark is dynamic, striking and somewhat wolf-like. While it's hard to draw any meaning from the abstract shapes forming the 'M' device, the vertical elements may allude to the striping on FC Barcelonas' players kits.
10. ANDY MURRAY (UK, TENNIS)
Designed in 2016 by Aesop Agency, the mark can be read as the initials 'AM' and contains the numbers 77 – a reference to Murray winning the Wimbledon mens singles title 77 years since the previous British MENS winner. His victory occurred on the 7th day of the 7th month of 2013 giving the number 77 further significance. An additional note to both equality and Tennis history; the previous British winner was actually Virginia Wade in 1977 - a fact that Murray himself has corrected Journalists on regularly.
11. RAFAEL NADAL (SPAIN, TENNIS)
While there is no wordmark specifically spelling out his name, Nadals' logo includes the silhouette of bull horns representing his Spanish heritage; and thunderbolts representing his style of play on court. Modern, yes. A little emotionless, possibly.
12. SERENA WILLIAMS (USA, TENNIS)
An American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women's single tennis, Serenas' personal logo is an elegant flowing near-symmetrical mark revealing the letters 'S and W'. It could be further interpreted as depicting on-court movement from above.
14. CARMELO ANTHONY (USA, BASKETBALL) An athlete and logo I'd not been aware of before; Carmelo -aka Melo- is one of the NBA's most heavily-tattooed players, and his brandmark is inspired by a tribal tattoo inked near his right hand wrist.
15. MARIA SHARAPOVA (RUSSIA, TENNIS)
A fun one to end with is former professional Tennis player Maria Sharapovas' Confectionery company; cutely named Sugarpova and launched worldwide in 2013.
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