Re-branding the Norwegian National Football teams

Background

The Norwegian national teams represent the best of Norwegian football. Yet, as a unit, each different national team have their own unique story: The women have reveled in glory by winning a World Cup, and are among the favourites for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The men are currently competing in the European Qualifiers, and are a young, talented team eager to prove themselves as a side not to be taken lightly. And the youth teams are performing well, providing a bright future for Norwegian football.

The team crest on the player’s chest embodies the highest honour any player could ask for. In Norwegian this is represented by the expression “å spille med flagget på brystet”, which translates into “play with the flag on your chest”.
Unsurprisingly communication of the national team had previously relied almost solely on the national flag and its colours. The Norwegian Football Federation wanted to change this to develop a stronger identity with deeper substance that reflected the stories and players of the national teams.

Process

Over recent years three core values – stolthet (pride), samhold (unity), råskap (ruggedness) – had been established and adopted by the national teams. Over time these values were translated into the foundations of their training and game play philosophy and style.

So, how could we use these values to tell the stories about the national teams? In what way could we make the values part of a bigger narrative around Norwegian football? And how could we tell stories that would express these values through victories, losses, and potentially even as world champions? This story had to tap into established football territories of pride and unity, while being uniquely Norwegian.

Solution

The national anthem is sung whenever the national team plays. So we picked excerpts from its lyrics to attach the story of the national team, and Norwegian football in general. This narrative stretches from every corner of a long and rugged country, reflecting the attitude and hardships that shapes the players. It tells the story of every young player’s dream of one day standing at the arena waiting to represent the national team – “med flagget på brystet.”
We have also introduced new elements to the new crest that further brings out  the values of the national teams; resulting in a crest which stands bold, while providing additional substance and subtext to tell their stories.

Building on Norwegian football history and heritage, the new crest resurrects the lion and shield used in the 1910s and 20s. During this time it was not only used on the crest, but also on other marks to honour national players.
For communication and supporting collaterals , both the women and men’s team were photographed in rugged and determined style,  set against a backdrop of dramatic Norwegian landscapes. Together with typography and elements from the crest, it establishes a distinct visual and tonal narrative for all the national teams.

At the time of writing, the women have just won their first match in Canada and the men are ready and set for their new European Qualifier matches. We hope you join us in a passionate, loud and clear: Heia Norge.