The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.

Ross Perot

Anyone who has played any sport in their lives will know that if sports is about anything, it is about never giving up; it is about being humble in victory and magnanimous in defeat. But what is really attractive about sports? Well, it is passion! From supporting your favorite team to the sports brands you wear; it is all about the love and passion of sports.

According to Statista the current sports market size in North America is $77.88 billion and will reach the $83.1 billion mark by 2023.

North America Sports Market Size (in billion US dollars)

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The figures are huge; however, these numbers are not limited to the US alone. Sports continue to enjoy a large share of the market virtually everywhere in the world. According to an estimate, the global market size of the sports industry in 2020 was $383.3 billion in 2020. Business owners and sports teams are always devising new ways to market themselves so that they can become a part of the booming industry. Sports logos remain one of the major ways of visually promoting sports teams and attracting fans and followers.

Teams and sports agencies use unique sports logos which are memorable, unique, and timeless. In this post, we will shed light on some of the best sports logos of all time. Each of the following logos is memorable and uniquely depicts their teams or brands.

1. Olympics Logo

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The Olympics logo has had many variations over the years; however, the five interlocking circles have always been the central design element of the emblem. Designed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1913, the colorful rings represent the five continents, namely Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania.

The earliest version of the current logo can be traced back to the 1896 Summer Olympics, which depicted sports in ancient Greece.

The 1913 version of the logo appeared heavier than its current counterpart. The bright badge served as the visual identity of the games until 1986.

The 1986 redesign saw the rings become thinner, with white lines appearing at the interlacing joints. The colors were made lighter and evoked joy and passion. The current version of the logo came into existence in 2010; however, it was not much different from the 1986 version, except for the white lines from the interlacing joints being removed.

2. New York Yankees

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Owned by Yankee Global Enterprises, the New York Yankees have the distinction of being one of the best professional sports teams in the US. Apart from winning 19 American League East Division championships, the Yankees have won 27 World Series titles and 40 American League pennants.

The New York Yankees Logo went through several changes in its 120-year history. During the first few months of its existence, the New York Yankees were known as the Baltimore Orioles and used an orange “O” in a black background as its logo.

The current logo was redesigned in 1968, which is a modified version of its 1946 counterpart. Designed by Lon Keller, the emblem consists of a baseball bat with a hat on top of it. The hat features the pattern of the American flag.

3. Nike

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, Nike was initially named “Blue Ribbon Sports. The company was renamed after the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, in 1971. Apart from footwear, the company manufactures and sells apparel, accessories, and various equipments

The Nike “swoosh” logo is a timeless piece of art that is easily recognizable in the remotest part of the world. Designed by Carolyn Davidson for only $35, the swoosh is regarded as priceless today. The symbol signifies speed, agility, and victory.

Interesting Read: 10 Facts About Nike Swoosh Logo That Will Drop Your Jaw

4. Manchester United

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Nicknamed “the Red Devils,” Manchester United FC is arguably one of the best English football clubs. The club was founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club. Manchester United has the distinction of winning a record number of trophies than any other English football club.

The English football club changed its visual identity a number of times in its history. The current visual identity of the club consists of a red devil under a ship with two soccer balls on either side of the badge.

5. Adidas

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Founded in 1924 in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Adidas is the biggest name in the sportswear industry in Europe. Globally, the sports brand enjoys the second position behind Nike.

Started by Adolf Dassler in his mother’s house, the company’s annual revenue in 2018 was a whopping €21.915 Billion.

The Adidas Trefoil emblem was designed in 1971 and enjoys the same level of popularity as the Nike swoosh logo. The visual identity of Adidas consists of the iconic three stripes along with three leaves, with the wordmark below it.

6. Dallas Cowboys

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

In 1960, the Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team and won several titles ever since. The Cowboys made the list of most valuable sports teams in the world after the franchise was valued at $4 billion in 2015.  From Bob Lily to Cliff Harris to Larry Brown, the Dallas Cowboys have seen some of the greatest sporting heroes.

The Dallas Cowboy can boast of a visual identity that has remained unchanged throughout its history. The five-pointed star underwent minor changes in 1964 when a white border was added to the star’s contour. The logo evokes power, unity, trust, and victory.

7. NBA

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The National Basketball League (NBA) is one of the four major sports leagues in the US. Founded in 1946 in New York City, it is amongst the wealthiest sports leagues in America.

The NBA logo consists of a silhouette of a basketball player in a blue and red background. Many believe that the player in the badge is legendary basketball player Jerry west.  

8. Chicago Bulls

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The Chicago Bulls are amongst the most famous American Basketball teams that compete in the NBA. Known as one of the fiercest teams, the Chicago Bulls have the distinction of being one of the first teams in NBA history to win 70 games in a single season.

The Chicago Bulls are amongst the few teams that have stuck to their original logos. Designed by Dean Wessel, the Chicago Bulls emblem consists of a red bull with white horns, symbolizing stability and victory.

9. Invictus Games

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Founded by Prince Harry, the Invictus Games is a sporting event for servicemen and women who have been injured and disabled. The visual identity of the games was created by Lambie-Nairn, who discovered that “Invictus” was also a poem that had the lines: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” The logo portrays the power of every individual through the words “I am” in yellow.

10. Washington Redskins (Disputed Logo)

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Founded in 1932 as the Washington Redskins, the club underwent several changes in 2020, including adopting its new name, the Washington Football Team. The club was forced to change its branding because of allegations of racism. The old logo consisted of a Native American man within a circular badge.

11. Tour de France

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The Tour de France is a bicycle race held in France, which sometimes passes through adjacent countries. Designed by Joel Guenounback in 2002, the Tour de France logo is loved by all. The attractive emblem portrays joy, positive energy, and enjoyment. The race was first held in 1903 and has been the center of attraction ever since.

12. Premier League

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Founded in 1992, the Premier League or the English Premier League (EPL) is one of the most-watched football leagues in the world. The club changed its visual identity three times since its inception. However, the lion always remained the centerpiece of the logos. The current logo is a simplified version of the previous versions and appears regal, imposing, and glorious.

13. Brooklyn Nets

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

Founded in 1967, the Brooklyn Nets is one of the most popular teams that compete in the NBA. The club overhauled its visual identity several times in its history. However, the current logo of the club has gone to gain cult status. Designed by rapper and the then co-owner Jay-Z, the emblem portrays the charismatic Brooklyn borough of New York City.

14. Major League Baseball

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The oldest sports league in the world, Major League Baseball (MLB), has the distinction of being the second-wealthiest sports tournament by revenue.

Created by Jerry Dior in 1968, the MLB logo has been with the league ever since. The red, white, and blue color palette of the MLB emblem evokes patriotism, victory, loyalty, and professionalism.

15. Super Bowl League

The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time

The last on the list is the popular Super Bowl logo. The centerpiece of the design is the Vince Lombardi Trophy with the corresponding Roman number of the tournament below it. The wealthiest league in America also boasts of a logo, which is timeless and relevant: important elements of logo design.

In Conclusion

Sports logos bind teams, fans, and followers together to form a formidable force.  These logos are more than interesting-looking designs: they convey passion and enthusiasm. So, if you want to design a great-looking sports logo, the above list can serve you as a guide.

Image Credits
(a) 1000logos.net (b) Worldvectorlogo.com

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The 15 Greatest Sports Logos of All Time
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