The Swedish esports organization Ninjas in Pajamas (NiP) has unveiled a new visual identity for the team as part of an official rebranding.
According to a press release, the US rebranding was critically important to the company's development and purpose, including creating experiences that will entertain, inspire and connect fans around the world.
The brand update introduces a new color that eschews the team's signature black, gold and brown palette to achieve a brighter neon look. The Shuriken emblem has also been redesigned to give it a more modern look. Together, the changes are intended to reflect the inspiration of traditional Japanese art and symbolize "a futuristic, powerful and mysterious brand".
NiP's revitalized look is unveiled along with many other celebrity teams and leagues that have chosen to make their mark in the past few months including Rogue, LCK, Panda Global, Dignitas, and more. For the Swedish organization, however, the rework has been in the works for more than a year and involves several agencies to ensure that the brand experience is "fully exploited".
Esports Insider sat down with ninjas in pajamas & # 39; Chief Executive Officer Hicham Chahine to discuss the rebranding in more detail. You will find an edited copy of our interview below.
Esports Insider: Ninjas in pajamas have been around for over 20 years and its brand is associated with a collection of timeless moments in sports – why did you think this rebranding was something you needed?
Hicham Chahine : We have been around for two decades and have grown organically over time; Until a few years ago there was no brand focus. Widely known and recognized today, the iconic logo was created at a time when the sport was different from today and a brand overhaul is overdue eight years after it was first launched.
The brand was originally created around a funky name, but with no brand history, no brand strategy, no brand archetype, which caused it to stagnate as the sport grew. Additionally, our business has grown from a competitive esports team to a media and production company. When we started rebranding a year and a half ago, we revisited, focusing heavily on the name of ninjas in pajamas and how to get inspired and amplify what is unique to us.
ESI: Esports is very different from it was 20 years ago – has the development of the industry and its landscape influenced the direction or decision to rebrand in any way, and if so, how?
HC : Esports is in fact different from what it was 20 years ago. However, what influenced our process the most was the 20 year history of the NIP. We were extremely careful with the process as we had to respect 20 years of NIP history and the emotional connection our fans, community and partners had with the brand. The process focused on aligning and expanding the name, building on what had been created over the 20 years to prepare us for the next 20 years.
“Today we are not just a competitive CS: GO team for sports, but a much larger organization that competes in a variety of sports titles for different communities. We moved to an esports, media and production company and it was important that our brand can carry this change into the future.
ESI: The new color is a far cry from the organization's iconic color palette. What else can you say about the motivation for a brighter neon look?
HC : The name ninjas in pajamas was something we wanted to investigate and dig into, it's unique to us and something that only we can own. Ninjas originated in Japan, so it was natural for us to draw a lot of inspiration from Japanese culture, which deals with the original ninjas and their culture.
The inspiration in branding strategy has merged this clear line of inspiration with our Swedish heritage in visual identity. Neon is inspired by the beautiful neon lights of Tokyo, the basic colors neon yellow and neon blue are inspired by Sweden. It's a real Japanese-Swedish fusion with a digital twist.
ESI: Over the past few months there has been an influx of rebranding efforts from leading organizations in the industry – why would you now reveal ninjas in pajamas' updated look in the landscape? is so crowded?
HC : The rebranding process is long overdue and we have been working on it for a long time. The entire process is long-term, so the start date was never important to us. So we didn't think about avoiding a crowded rebranding phase.
It was important that we unveiled the reinvented brand when we felt we had done our best to deliver an epic brand experience to our fans, players, communities and partners. The brand upgrade was overdue and we will build for the next 20 years. We are finally confident in which direction we are going and we are excited to share it with the world and build on it for many years to come.
ESI: How has the brand Ninjas in Pajamas – what it means, what it stands for and what general philosophy it has for the competition and is a fan of the organization – changed in the last 20 years and how do you see the development? from that point on? revitalized look?
HC : The early days of Ninjas in Pajamas were linked to one word: domination. In the last four years we have built the organization from scratch under new ownership and management. We saw a decline in esports performance, and today's esports ecosystem is very different from 2015. When we rebuilt the organization and started scaling, esports performance and brand were our two main priorities. This is where we've invested the most in everything from recruiting, facilities and infrastructure to branding, content creation, production and platform.
The industry has changed and our business has changed with it. What hasn't changed here is the undisputed desire to attract and create epic branded experiences for broad audiences around the world.
Esports Insider Says: It can be a difficult time getting excited about a team that is taking on a new identity, considering how many rebrands have taken place in the past few months. However, we can certainly support ninjas in pajamas. While the new logo is a far cry from the typical look of its original trademark, it does reflect the current industrial style with a sharper, more digital, and more modern look.