AFF Suzuki Cup unveils progressive new look

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At the Official Draw of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 held in Jakarta today, a new visual identity was unveiled, heralding a new era in Southeast Asian football. Contested by the region’s national ‘A’ teams, the biennial ASEAN Football Championship is amongst the most followed sporting events in Southeast Asia and boasts unrivalled television ratings as well as sold-out stadia.

Last year, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) announced an updated format for the upcoming cycle of AFF Suzuki Cup events – starting from the 2018 competition – that will provide more exposure for players in their home country. With teams competing both home and away from the group stages, fans will have more opportunities to back their national team on home soil which will fuel the intense rivalry of the games and drive greater fan engagement.

His Royal Highness Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, President of the ASEAN Football Federation, said, “After celebrating the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN Football Championship in 2016, we felt it was an opportune time to update our tournament logo to ensure the brand remains relevant to the evolving attitudes, cultures, and trends in this digital age. It was perfectly timed to coincide with the launch of our new tournament format in 2018; and with this contemporary outfit in place, it reinforces the AFF Suzuki Cup’s status as the bastion of Southeast Asian football.”

AFF’s long-term commercial partner, Lagardère Sports, managed the overall process of creating the new tournament visuals. Based on extensive studies conducted with fans and stakeholders, five attributes synonymous with the AFF Suzuki Cup brand were identified. To bring everything together, visual elements such as a beating heart, a goalpost, and a fan’s raised hands that represented pride, loyalty, football, rivalry and passion, were weaved into the logo schematic.

Four colour schemes were developed for the logo: magenta (depicting passion and energy), cyan (represents a fresh beginning), green (the vibrancy of a football pitch) as well as blue (topography of the region).

“Lagardère Sports were thrilled to be entrusted with the mandate to reinvent the AFF Suzuki Cup’s brand while honouring its legacy and preeminent status as the crown jewel of ASEAN football,” said Tom Smith, President, Football – Asia at Lagardère Sports.

“As we enter a new era where premium content and fan-focused strategies are the keys to winning the hearts of fans, it was necessary to deploy new tournament visuals that resonate with supporters and reflect the true worth of ASEAN’s football championship. Along with a new tournament format, we will also be implementing a digital-first content strategy that will enable the AFF Suzuki Cup to engage deeper with the legion of football fans worldwide.”

The AFF Suzuki Cup will take place from 8 November to 15 December 2018 across 10 Southeast Asian countries. In 2016, the AFF Suzuki Cup was the most watched sports programme of the year in Indonesia and Thailand, with cumulative viewership figures of 35 million and 40 million respectively, eclipsing the ratings enjoyed by global sporting events like the UEFA EURO 2016.

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