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Lindsay Beltzer
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FC Shakhtar Launches its New Brand Identity

Donetsk, Ukraine, December 5, 2007 - Football Club Shakhtar unveiled today its new brand strategy and identity, based on the definition of vision, mission, values, and expressed through a highly innovative new logotype and design system. The new strategy and identity resulted from the collaboration with Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy.

The new identity combines past and future by expressing the Club’s origins, history and values through a groundbreaking design approach. The cosmopolitan, powerful identity reflects the Club’s strong international vision.

The brand strategy and identity process is a crucial part of FC Shakhtar’s wider strategy, aimed at continuing to increase Shakhtar’s role in international football and its influence on the development of football in Ukraine. This happens at a time when Shakhtar’s new five-star stadium, to be open next summer, has been selected to host European Championship matches in 2012, assigned to Ukraine and Poland.

“FC Shakhtar has seen a lot of changes in the past 10 years – some of which cardinal, affecting our region and our country,” said Sergey A. Palkin, CEO of FC Shakhtar. “We needed to define what our brand should stand for in the next years. We obviously have a clear task – to reach European football success. But every football club aims at winning. So what makes us really different? What makes our true supporters remain loyal even when results are not good? It is the Club’s philosophy and values. In this year and half of work we have formulated a clear definition of what Shakhtar really means. Only with this can the Club move to its future with confidence and success.”

The new identity is the result of a structured process. The Shakhtar and Interbrand team conducted an extensive management and team interview programme, along with research on current and potential supporters. These led to the consolidation of the Shakhtar brand’s vision, mission, values and essence, summarized in the concepts of going “beyond boundaries”, “redefining excellence in football” and and being “the ambassador of Ukrainian football in the world and of international football in Ukraine”, and in the values of determination, loyalty, youth and knowledge. These concepts guided the creation of the new logotype.

“Our new, impactful logotype is the most important element of our visual communication,” said Maria Grishko, Commercial and Marketing Director of the Club. “It will be our symbol, personification, emblem and must express who we really are in all manifestations. This does not mean that our preceding logotypes from 1936 to present were less effective. Each of them symbolizes an era, and for this reason why some of their elements appear in our new logotype, which expresses in a unique and distinctive way what is our vision for the new era of Shakhtar.”

The symbol designed by Interbrand for FC Shakhtar encapsulates a variety of meanings. It capitalizes on the origin of the Club as the coalminers’ team (Shakhtar means “miner” in Ukrainian) through the traditional orange and black colours, expressing the contrast between the darkness of mines and brightness of the sun. The lower, black part of the logo focuses on the Club’s origins by reintroducing the year of foundation and the symbol of miners’ labour – the crossed hammers. Both were absent in the preceding logotype.

A flame burns in the centre of the upper part of the logotype. This symbolizes both the natural energy entrapped in the earth of the coalmining region of Donbass, and the “flame of passion” driving the Club’s supporters, players, officials. The flame is surrounded by a black shape, evoking both the mine galleries and the fact that energy within every chunk of coal.

Partly overlapping with the flame is also the national trident of Ukraine, reflecting the Club’s aim of being the pride of the entire nation. The same shape also describes the Club’s name initial in Cyrillic.

All together, the upper part of the logotype also shows the sun over a bright, sunlit horizon, expressing the dawn of a new era for Shakhtar. Central to the logo, the name of the Club appears in a modern, clear typeface.

The strongly distinctive pointed shape of the logo reflects the value of determination, providing a strong sense of direction. The sharpness of its design evokes the renowned “fighter character” of the team. The shape is a courageous break from the standard shapes of the football industry.

“Today Shakhtar becomes a branding and design benchmark in the worldwide football community,” said Manfredi Ricca, Business Director of Interbrand’s Italian office. “Shakhtar is a unique example of how a football brand can embody a higher sense of history, pride and purpose for different generations. The Club is driven by the pursuit of excellence at an international level, and the identity now expresses this spirit. The logotype itself is the result of this wealth of inspirations - it communicates an impressive number of concepts with power, uniqueness and world-class style.” Manfredi Ricca observes that “when you get to know Shakhtar and its people, it is hard not to be captivated and to think that Shakhtar is the rising star in international football.”

About Shakhtar
Founded in 1936, Football Club Shakhtar represents the spirit of the city of Donetsk, the region of Donbass and all Ukraine. The main role in the development of Shakhtar as a leading football club in Ukraine is played by its President, Mr. Rinat Akhmetov, owner of the Club since October 1996. In over 70 years of history, FC Shakhtar scored various successes in the USSR and Ukrainian trophies. FC Shakhtar plays the 2007 Champions league. The head coach is Mircea Lucescu.

Shakhtar's new five-star stadium, will be completed in the summer of 2008, and will be one of the venues of Euro 2012. For more information: www.shakhtar.com