One can’t feel anything but a little bit strange about the Port Adelaide brand story – here is a team famously known by all fans as the Magpies, a proud black and white team with a history of success in the SANFL. This is a club that became successful enough to get an AFL license, but it came at the expense of their name and colours – 2 of the most important touchpoints of any sporting brand.
It’s with this in mind that I’m reviewing the Port Adelaide Logo. How do you approach a situation where you’re a new guy in the big competition but you have a huge history to respect? How do you approach it when your name and colours clash with the biggest club in the new competition? There’s so much at stake but how could you possibly pass up the opportunity to become a part of the AFL?
The Port Power logo is the official symbol of the AFL team, however it will never be the name or logo that connects with any supporter with a bit of history with the club. On the other hand, it’s an investment into the future. The kids growing up with the brand will embrace it as their parents get them to games and they’ll fall in love with the unique teal, the superstar players and the lightning bolt.
As far as AFL logos go, this one sits just above the middle of the pack. The weaknesses with the logo are easy to point out – it’s a bit basic, the arm and lightning illustration has some awkward lines with varied stroke weights. That said, I like how they have respected the black and white of their 140 year old Magpie past in the bottom half, but they’ve used it to sort of break with tradition. The Magpie past is in the Power’s roots, but the Teal is the Power’s future (if you read it from the bottom up). Another positive is the use of a revolutionary style fist – popular with grassroots style revolutions which have traditionally started in the working class, a demographic that the Magpies of old were born from. So there’s plenty of symbolism in there which will always get a tick from me (unless it’s over the top like the Melbourne Demons logo). A glaring omission is ‘Port Adelaide Football Club’ which in my mind is a foolish move (I’m pro-location based) but in a way is understandable, especially in this context.
All in all, Port really have made the best out of an awkward situation here, and my hope is that after developing their brand and story a little more they can express the traditions of their genesis in a way that excites and inspires both the rusted on fanatics and the 7 year olds kicking their Sherrin in the park.