EditorComment

Branding the Headquarters of Chess in Berlin: Smart or Sexy

EditorComment
Branding the Headquarters of Chess in Berlin: Smart or Sexy

This March, all eyes in the chess world are on Kuhlhaus Berlin, the venue for the World Chess Candidates Tournament, the qualifier for the Championship Match. The loft-style building near the Potsdamer Platz in German capital, a former ice factory, has been fitted inside and set-up as a five-story chess stadium. 

World Chess, the organizer of the Tournament, decided to brand the building itself to market chess and to give spectators and the media a clear positioning of the venue and the event and the sport.

Elite, Sexy, or Friendly? 

The challenge to brand chess is to find the exact format, because the sport is different to everyone: very elite to a select group of VIP patrons of chess; very traditional for professionals, a fun game to very many and boring and unclear to many more).

— We believe that chess is not elitist (means that the branding must not be exclusive)
— Not only for professionals (so it's not only about 'learning chess')
— You don't have to be very smart to play chess, it's for everyone
— It's not boring (therefore, it should be modern and visually striking) 

Here is the list of different branding approaches World Chess has developed withits design agency, Shuka, as well as the ultimate solution we liked the most.

 The image is designed to be a selfie-magnet. We have not used it because while fun and cool and full of emojis, it does not have the message we wanted the building to carry.

The image is designed to be a selfie-magnet. We have not used it because while fun and cool and full of emojis, it does not have the message we wanted the building to carry.

 This is better in terms of messaging, but the copy seemed uninsiring. 

This is better in terms of messaging, but the copy seemed uninsiring. 

 Something we all liked: chess can help one become smarter (maybe) but it not necessarily. There is something in this building that you should look into. 

Something we all liked: chess can help one become smarter (maybe) but it not necessarily. There is something in this building that you should look into. 

And now the tournament in underway! You can follow the action in person or online at worldchess.com