Black & Yellow: The 30m People Brand
Here at Frontify, we continuously talk about how a brand is for everyone, and that's especially true for Borussia Dortmund – BVB – a brand that unites the passion of almost 30 million fans worldwide. Sports brands aren't like any other brands. That's why – in order to ensure that its brand is living up to expectations – all of their internal and external brand builders need to work collaboratively, consistently, and efficiently.
Borussia Dortmund is one of the largest and historically successful soccer clubs in Germany. Founded in 1909 by a group of passionate men dedicated to the sport, they've seen a good amount of success stories in recent years, adding to the overall achievements of the club. However, after being hit by financial instabilities, the club experienced monetary struggles in times where sporting successes also weren't present.
With that in mind, back in 2005, Borussia Dortmund had to evolve. They created a whole new concept, providing a business approach that wasn’t connected to the actual sporting results. A big part of that was investing in the development of the Borussia Dortmund brand, and the implementation of a dedicated brand management platform. With a stronger and more deliberate brand identity and visual guidelines, based on their core values – intensity, bonding force, ambition, and authenticity – a more reliable brand emerged from the crisis, also supported by a returning wave of sporting achievements.
In the decade to follow, BVB saw a massive upswing in results. But the strategy also paid off outside of the stadium. From a brand and marketing perspective,BVB experienced significant international growth. This led to the reincorporation of an inhouse/internal department for managing aftersales and partnerships back in 2019, which was formerly handled by an external agency. With that came a more consistent brand recognition resulting in an award-winning, global brand design strategy.
From a brand and marketing perspective, BVB experienced significant international growth.
Naturally, with new developments (even the positive ones) comes new challenges. They now had to successfully position the brand both in a national and international context, which meant:
- Aligning all stakeholders’ interests, and communicate the brand’s identity,
- Improving brand consistency and centralize all brand assets,
- Enabling everyone to make quicker and more efficient turnarounds with a fast-paced, multidisciplinary task force – all while growing international departments.
What used to be a small core team of stakeholders quickly became an increasingly complex set of touchpoints and globally active brand champions. Players, employees, sponsoring partners, marketing agencies, licenses, media, and above all else – the BVB fans – all became part of something bigger. The brand-building required increased coordination between departments and a consistent and clear structure for all existing brand assets and communication channels.
For example, with internationalization, they saw a considerable increase in inquiries for marketing assets and brand guidelines. Suddenly, a new set of requirements became apparent: The ability to share certain brand assets to specific users, streamlining the entire coordination process,and ensuring the brand's quality and consistency – efficiently, and globally. To tackle this rapid brand growth, Dennis Thom – Head of Marketing & Sponsoring – needed a solution as fast as possible. Dennis and his team tested several different options before choosing Frontify. With it, they can effectively structure and centralize brand guidelines and assets, create workflows, and manage projects both with internal colleagues and external partners.
Frontify allows anyone – with or without design skills – to quickly access our brand world, download brand logos, fonts, and assets, and create brand visuals all on their own.
And so, the BVB Brand Portal was born. Since the introduction of Frontify back in 2019, interdisciplinary departments like marketing, communications, the international offices in Shanghai and Singapore and their external merchandising company all work with the platform. With their new and fully integrated guidelines for the brand and corporate design, BVB can easily manage approvals and create marketing collateral in no-time. For external partners, feedback and approval processes for marketing projects have seen a significant increase in speed and precision, also thanks to clear and easily accessible brand guidelines.
Our feedback loops are a lot more detailed thanks to the collaboration capabilities of Frontify. We're now able to discuss assets and campaigns faster and more granular than ever before – both internally and with externals.
The BVB Brand Compass facilitates more streamlined coordination between graphic designers and agencies. It reduces the number of emails thanks to the precise structure and centralized assets that are now accessible and neatly categorized into folders and status workflows.
Going forward, BVB will continue the growth of its brand in new markets, achieve greater visibility, and sharpen its brand image with clearer messaging. This will help them further build on those deeper fan connections all over the world, empowered by every touchpoint their fans experience. With the BVB Compass, the stage is now set for BVB to take a national soccer brand, and make it truly global.
Frontify helps us bring our globalized brand identity to life. Coordinating projects with our partners, worldwide, is now a lot easier by having everything brand-related centralized in one platform – the BVB Brand Portal.