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FC Porto – 120 years anniversary and still going strong – the integration of tradition in football branding

Due to Portuguese top club FC Porto’s 120 years anniversary, the club introduced a new merchandise collection as part of the celebration. As part of the creative thinking, FC Porto crafted a logo, which mixes tradition, freshness, and modernity.

FC Porto 120 anniversary picture

Photo: Display of the items from the ‘anniversary merchandise collection’ (source: FC Porto’s official web site).

The web site ‘Football Marketing’ wrote the following about the branding initiative:

“The tradition is present in the use of the first logo FC Porto and the date of the founding of the club, as well as the use of pastel colors with shades of old gold, along with petrol blue. Modernity transpires in lettering chosen for the number “120″ and the logo shape.

This line stands out the jacket, one piece design which summarizes the four pillars that make FC Porto a unique case of success – Power, Accuracy, Ambition and Passion. The piece still conveys the 120 years of history of the club with international achievements in Vienna, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Seville, Gelsenkirchen, Yokohama and Dublin.

The new range of merchandising is still made ​​up of t-shirts, polo shirts and scarves for men, women and children. Until September 28, when the club celebrates its 120 years, new articles will be launched. This new line is now available in FC Porto Stores.”

(Source: ‘Football Marketing‘)

As other successful football brands have done, FC Porto strives to blend its historic legacy and traditions with the commercial requests of its stakeholders. That is part of running a modern football business, which emphasizes an optimization of all stakeholder relationships via the emotional equity tied to its ‘winning moments’ (and other platforms of interest to fan culture). This is reflected through the club’s web site and thus its presentation of itself, i.e. “Over the years, F.C. Porto grew as the conquests were becoming bigger and as its purposes were becoming greater. The symbol of a region astounded the country and surprised the world. The 1980’s were probably the most memorable decade. In 1987 and 1988, F.C. Porto conquered the European Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the European Supercup – an outstanding deed, a proof of the success of a special approach to sports. Few years later, F.C. Porto achieved a goal that no other club in Portugal dared to accomplish. Five championships in a row was a remarkable act, another great page in the clubs’ history.”  These words also mark the importance of ‘symbolic meaning’ in relation to football brands. Researchers have looked into fandom affiliation and tribalism in the context of football and found that “the associative behaviour of football fans is influenced by affiliation through the need for social recognition, socialization and symbolism.” (Dionísio et al., 2008, p 17). For that reason, it makes sense that FC Porto incorporated the above-mentioned aspects in its new merchandise.

Additional source: 

Dionísio, P., Leal, C., & Moutinho, L. (2008). Fandom affiliation and tribal behaviour: a sports marketing application. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal11(1), 17-39.

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