There’s No Place like Home: Connecting with Fans through Brand Activation

April 2, 2019

Embedding Tottenham Hotspur’s brand identity throughout its new stadium

Brand activation plays a vital role in shaping the character of a sports ground, creating new and exciting experiences for visitors and transforming a venue into somewhere that fans, players and staff can all identify with as ‘home’.

For the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium project, Populous’ specialist brand activation team began working closely with the practice’s architects at the very beginning of the design process. The team’s primary focus was to find ways to embed the club’s brand identity into the fabric of the stadium itself.

"... the brand and the stadium are one and the same thing.”

Simon Borg / Associate Principal

“We wanted to avoid simply sticking a big illuminated badge on the side of the stadium,” says Simon Borg, Associate Principal. “We looked at the architecture of the building as a blank canvas and started to break it down into different areas. Because we were involved at an early stage, we could influence interventions in the fabric of the building. The whole project was formed out of this philosophy; the brand and the stadium are one and the same thing.”



The Tottenham Hotspur emblem is rendered from perforations in the stadium’s cladding


“To dare is to do”

This philosophy is borne out in the design features on the exterior of the stadium. Huge concrete letters spelling out the Tottenham Hotspur club motto, “To dare is to do”, have been installed on the outside of the North Stand, together with the motto in its original Latin form, “Audere est Facere”. The letters, which each weigh one tonne, are offset by a background of ceramic tiles in the club’s famous dark blue colour.

On the stadium’s western elevation, the Tottenham Hotspur emblem — a cockerel standing on a football — stands guard over the main approach to the stadium from the Tottenham High Road, rendered from perforations in the facade cladding. LED lighting fitted to the cladding creates a dramatic spectacle as the cockerel becomes illuminated with colour at night-time.

  • Brand activation at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium1
    The concrete letters affixed to the outside of the North Stand each weigh one tonne

The emblem is also embossed on pre-cast concrete panels on the outside of the stadium’s main structural cores, with decorative tiling displaying six different phrases paying homage to the club’s history. The inspiration behind this piece of activation is that just as these phrases underpin the Tottenham Hotspur brand, the cores form the foundations for the stadium, reinforcing and giving it strength.



The club’s emblem is cast in concrete on the outside of the stadium’s main cores


“Everything we have done with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium project has been about instilling a sense of history and prestige in the building,” says Borg. “These installations are all a part of the stadium itself; they’re permanent. They could only disappear if you pulled the building down.”  

Header image © Tottenham Hotspur


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