Fan power wins out as Leeds United goes back to the drawing board

Stephen Chapman's picture
Leeds United badge

Leeds United says it will reopen the consultation on its new crest, following a wave of criticism.

The club released the “Gaviscon” logo earlier this week, in the hope that it represented Leeds’ “passion and unique identity.”

However, it didn’t go according to plan, with tens of thousands of supporters signing a petition to block the badge.

Leeds said that they had consulted more than 10,000 fans before releasing the branding to mark the club’s centenary.

Managing director, Angus Kinnear told BBC Radio Leeds that the direction was so “distinctive and breaks a lot of conventions” which is why the consultation process needed to be reopened.

An official statement was also released:

“The volume and depth of opinions expressed reinforced the level of passion our fan base has for our club. While the current board of directors are custodians of Leeds United the fans will always be at the heart of everything we do, and you will be listened to.   

“We conducted thorough research into the  desire for a change to the crest to symbolise a new era for the club. However, we also appreciate the need to extend  the consultation with supporters and we are committed to working with you to create an identity we can all be proud of. We will release further information on how supporters can get involved in the process next week.”

Tom Dougherty, user experience director at Leeds agency Delete told Prolific North that the u-turn was foreseeable and is likely to be a "costly mistake"

"Active fan consultation is a necessary step when making brand and marketing decisions for sports clubs, and while it made perfect sense to consult the fanbase as part of the crest redesign, it appears the club underestimated the level of emotional attachment to the original crest.

"When you factor in the bold and radically different new design, it’s easy to see why supporters have reacted as strongly as they have. A club crest, in particular, is as cherished as a national flag. In some cases it means more, and stands for more to the team’s supporters, so any slight modification, let alone a fundamental overhaul has the tendency to cause mass hysteria.”