GLASGOW WARRIORS launched their new badge with great fanfare yesterday morning. The accompanying press release told us –
Part of the club’s identity since the dawn of professionalism in 1996, the Warrior remains the centrepiece of the new badge, which has been refreshed to give it an updated and modern feel.
Retaining the existing club colour scheme, the new-look Warrior draws upon the history of the club, whilst providing a clean and simple design.
The logo’s typography has been given an overhaul, taking inspiration from shipyard signage near Scotstoun and Glasgow transport designs to create a typeface that reflects the history of Scotland’s largest city.
The reaction on social media – as tends to be the case with these sorts of things – was mixed.
From the positive –
“It’s in keeping with the old warrior image, it’s incorporated the old GDRU shield which I am particularly fond of & the typeface is bold yet doesn’t overwhelm the design. Hats off to the team.”
To the negative –
“Awful. The outgoing logo was 23 years old….so what? Look at football club logos, tidied up over the years but essentially the same for decades. This is an own goal and looks more like a logo for a game played on Playstation. Got this one wrong.”
To the cynical –
“Can’t see any reason for a costly rebrand other than it being a money-making exercise to entice fans to buy new clobber.”
Perhaps the most extreme expression of disapproval came from the tweeter who stated –
“My worst fears confirmed. It’s even worse than the Leeds United one. I’m finished with this club to be honest. No identity anymore, just another SRU profit machine.”
Some pretty ferocious stuff, and at times like this it is perhaps worth remembering that we are talking about a badge. There are far bigger issues, of significantly more importance to the future of the club, which are really worth getting agitated about.
The badge launch facilitated a rare appearance in front of the press of club managing director Nathan Bombrys, who fielded questions on a number of issues.
Including, the prospect of extending the capacity of Scotstoun at some point in the foreseeable future –
“That is the next step, isn’t it? It is obvious to everyone. We have a ‘Warriors Nation’ waiting list. People are paying to be ‘Warrior Nation’ members and be on a waiting list. But it is not just the number of supporters that want to come, it is also the wider facilities we would like to see improve. We have been in really good discussions with the City and Glasgow Life over what we want to do. This site has worked well for us. We have a scheme that is really exciting, so we have got to get all the partners and stakeholders tied up and we will be talking about that in near future.
“We don’t have everything lined up to do that yet. Once we do, we’ll be telling you about it. But the City have been very supportive partners, they are are proud of the fact Glasgow Warriors have achieved the success they have playing out of one of their facilities. They hold it up as a real success story for the city and they are very firmly committed to being part of the next stage of our journey. They want that to be here at Scotstoun. Once we get the next few details finalised we will be able to talk about it more publicly.
“I am not hung up on the exact number [capacity] but we want to be full every week. I would say between 10,000 and 12,000 would be about right. The semi-final had 10,000 sold-out within an hour and a half. So, we know we can get up to that.”
He also shed some light on what part of the stadium is likely to be developed –
“That [North Stand – opposite the Main stand] is the smallest stand [capacity: 1,225] so that’s the bit. It is a sizeable structure, but it is quite small in terms of capacity. There could be more efficient use of that space, for sure.”
And the importance of co-tenants Victoria Park City of Glasgow Athletics Club being on board with the development plan –
“We’ve had really positive conversations with the athletics. Part of what we’re trying to do is give them something that works for them too. They’ve been involved. So far their feedback to me has been really positive.”
He talked down, but didn’t fully discount, the possibility that the club might have to move away from Scotstoun if it cannot be developed in line with the Warriors/SRU vision –
“Scotstoun is our home. I’m focused on a plan for Scotstoun.”
“We have a scheme set up with the City to develop something here at Scotstoun. It has been great for us, it has been fabulous, you can’t argue with how well Scotstoun has worked. Now we just need to evolve it and go to the next level.
“That’s all I’ll say about it. We are focused on Scotstoun.”
At the same time, he was fairly positive about the club playing one-off games at different venues –
“It’s something we look at quite regularly. We just want to make sure we get it right. We took a pre-season game to Perth last year and it was one of my favourite days, a wonderful day in a public park [‘pop up’ stadium]. We’ve had games at [Kilmarnock FC’s] Rugby Park in the past driven by necessity. We had good crowds there, more than we could get into Scotstoun, so it’s something we’re looking at. It’s got to be the right circumstances and situation.”
He didn’t like being asked about Warriors not having the financial clout to hold onto their biggest players –
“Two weeks ago, we played in our third final in six years. Last year we didn’t make the final, this year we did. Yes, a big-name player left us [two years ago in Finn Russell] and we’ve seen another strong player emerge [Adam Hastings]. I know the coaches are excited about the future at stand-off. We’re giving opportunities for the next guys to step up. We’ve got a really good group of players here. We got 19 out of 20 points during the Six Nations period. I thought we played some really impressive rugby. We are consistently playing at the right end of the table at the right end of the season.
“What we’ve done has not been built on the back of one or two people, it’s been built on the effort of a lot of people. We’ve had organic growth in attendance and support from the city and are now strong enough to sustain a bad season or two due to that growth. People like what we do generally, enjoy coming to the matches and support the club. For me that was the big takeaway from the final a fortnight ago. Seeing all the colour of the supporters and so many of them, that noise that they made in that stadium was impressive. I walked away saying: ‘We’ve got a lot of good supporters here’.”
Finally, he was tight-lipped about where Warriors are in terms of filling in gaps in the squad ahead of next season –
“We have a couple of guys we have signed and we will keep under wraps for a little bit longer because we need to – more for their benefit. We will be announcing those in due course. We do have some money available if we want to spend it, but we don’t just want to spend it because we have it – we want to spend it well. We want guys who will enhance what we do.
“With the World Cup, it is also a bit tricky forecasting how many people you’re going to lose both for the training camp and the four warm-up games, and then for the World Cup itself.
“We have a few [other] people we are getting closer to. If we think they are the right people we will make a move and try to bring them in.”
And with that, he was off to pose for some pictures with the new badge, which is a good talking point but – all things considered – not really a big issue.