new name sponsor, new visual identity – design diary

Hamburg Towers, a team that has been playing in the basketball Bundesliga since 2019, has adopted a new visual identity. Based on the name sponsorship that was announced this summer, the logo was also changed.

Hamburg Tower’s basketball team was only founded in 2013. Just six years later, the team, which was built up by sports director Marvin Willoughby, was able to secure promotion to the basketball league. In July, the Bundesliga club announced a long-term name sponsorship with the company Veolia Umweltservice. At the same time, the team’s future appearance was presented. When the 2022/2023 season starts next Wednesday and the team plays their first competitive game against champions Alba Berlin, Veolia Towers Hamburg will appear with a new logo on their shirts.

Excerpt from the press release

New name, same game – with this message, Veolia Towers Hamburg presented itself to the public for the first time on Friday morning. And while the connection to the Hanseatic city, the work in the Wilhelmsburg district and the deep-rooted social responsibility continue to form the core of the Veolia towers, the first name sponsorship in the history of the towers is accompanied by a large-scale rebranding process. More modern, livelier and more mature – this is how Veolia Towers Hamburg will present itself from now on.

Towers Hamburg Logo – before and after, image source: Veolia Towers Hamburg, image montage: dt

During the initial redesign of the team logo, the name of the sponsor – Veolia – was integrated. The name is set in the same font as the other words, meaning it blends in discreetly. In several Bundesliga club logos, the corporate logo of the sponsor name is part of the team logo (Ratiopharm Ulm, Brose Bamberg, Syntainics MBC), making it difficult to create a harmonious visual appearance.

As in the original logo, the design of the new team logo, which takes up the symbolism of Hamburg’s state coat of arms, focuses on two towers. The club’s professional department uses a special form of the logo to create a visual distinction from popular and club sports: a circular signet (badge). “The clarity of the design language creates a symbol that conveys the club’s individuality in any context and at the same time serves as a starting point for other sub-brands,” as the club explains.

The new visual appearance was created in collaboration with the agency Sherpa Design (Hamburg), and the typeface was developed together with Alexander Roth (Type Foundry “Neue”). The website was relaunched in collaboration with Upscale it (Hamburg).


A depiction of a basketball is included in 16 out of 18 Bundesliga team logos. Only FC Bayern and Veolia Towers Hamburg manage without such clichéd representation. In the NBA, 20 out of 30 teams use a basketball image in their logo. This shows how widespread the idea is in basketball that you have to visually explain your affiliation with the sport. For comparison: of the 32 teams currently playing in the UEFA Champions League, only 8 teams use an image of a soccer ball in their logo. In English Premiership Rugby, the world’s strongest rugby league, only one team out of 13 uses an image of a rugby ball in their logo.

It is not necessary to represent the gaming entity in the logo. Unless you have no other ideas. In addition, the use of a largely generic form of representation (typically basketball skeleton or Telstar Durlast honeycomb) prevents an independent and recognizable visual identity from emerging. So thank you, dear marketing managers in sports clubs, more courage to be creative and independent! A club logo is not a pictogram to be used to explain the sport.

A successful further development of the appearance of the towers, in my opinion. Instead of reproducing widespread clichés like many others, it was based on a finely tuned color scheme, an extensively revised logo and the new corporate font Veolia Towers created an independent and visually appealing brand identity. A brand that conveys an affinity for sports and exudes confidence. Compared to the new circular signet, the previous logo with its 3D Lego building block aesthetic looks rather bulky. I would describe the new design as timeless.

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