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A history of the West Ham crest change

The West Ham crest has been a hot topic again in recent weeks amongst supporter unrest and a march panned by West Ham Groups United before the Burley game.

Although the decision was made over three years ago, one of the key people behind the West Ham crest change was former Hammers managing director Angus Kinnear.  He joined the West Ham board from Arsenal in 2013 where he was previously the Gooners Marketing Director and was heavily involved in the North London club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates. He reportedly tried and failed to get the word ‘London’ put the Arsenal crest as part of the rebranding exercise for their stadium move. It should have come as no surprise that he tried to and succeeded to do the same at West Ham when he joined as MD overseeing the move to the London Stadium. Kinnear left West Ham last summer to join Leeds as their new CEO. He recently made the national headlines when he tried to change Leeds crest and faced an immediate backlash from supporters.

Back in July 2014 all season ticket holders and any supporter with a ticket purchase history were emailed by West Ham and invited to take part in a consultation with a YouGov poll. The email marketing database is thought to have numbered around 100,000 at that time.

The email said: “West Ham United are today launching an online poll to seek supporter feeling on the Club’s proposed design of an updated crest, which would be used from the 2016/17 season. With little more than two years until the Hammers make the Olympic Stadium home, the Club – and as consultation confirmed – the West Ham faithful believe that this is the right time to evolve the crest in a way that reflects the dawn of an exciting new era. 

The Board understand that the success of the Club’s move depends on its acceptance among supporters as the home of West Ham United. The Club is therefore on the cusp of a multi-million pound investment at the Stadium and so it is imperative to ensure that, together, we get it right from the outset. The crest’s evolution is the handiwork of world-class designers, who, crucially, are lifelong supporters of the Club too. Its final design is the product of careful deliberation following supporter consultation and the comprehensive feedback received, as well as a reflection of feeling among the Club’s stakeholders.  The end result is a bolder, cleaner and more vibrant Club crest.  

Prior to casting a vote, supporters are invited to watch a new reveal video, which journeys through the crest’s colourful history, as well as the months of meticulous research that have led to this significant moment. Narrated by Hammers legend Tony Cottee, the four-minute reveal culminates in a stunning 3D rendering of the crest, showing off the brilliant detail enriching the new design.

The Club have appointed independent survey company SMG YouGov to conduct the poll, with voting to commence at 6pm on Wednesday 9 July and to close 48 hours later at 6pm on Friday 11 July. Supporters with a ticket purchase history aged 16 and over can register their vote here. The results will be announced on whufc.com in due course.”

The video can be seen below:

On 17th July 2014 The club announced the poll results saying:

“West Ham United are pleased to report that an independent supporter poll, conducted by SMG YouGov, shows that fans have voted in favour of adopting the Club’s updated crest design. Of the two supporter polls, SMG YouGov reported that 77% of fans were supportive of evolving the Club’s crest. The Club therefore had a clear mandate for change. When presented with the new crest’s design, 72% of West Ham fans who support change, also voted to adopt the new crest design.

SMG YouGov’s report confirmed that the second stage of the process attracted new respondents and new opinions, while the results showed that an overall 56% majority of fans voted yes, in clear support of adopting the new crest.

Almost 10,000 West Ham fans completed the crest consultation survey and SMG YouGov’s Managing Director, Frank Saez, commented: ”This represents a credible and robust sample of the total supporter base. The results provided to West Ham clearly state that the new crest is supported by the majority of fans.”

Read more at https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2014/july/17-july/supporter-poll-results-announced


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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

6 comments on “A history of the West Ham crest change

  1. The first badge I can recall was a sky blue square background with 2 crossed hammers which came separate to the shirt which my mum had to sew on ! The same with the numbers which were white and cut from an old sheet and sewn on wonky 😂 ! I’d give my right arm to go back in time and watch the hammers all over again !! Happy days ! We never had the crap that’s going on today.
    Money killed this sport which is now a brand ! Fekin disgusting !!!

  2. How someone got paid to design that crest is beyond me. Most infact all the amatuer crests drawn up were alot better

  3. The comment byt he club that all season ticket holders and those with a a ticket purchase history is were e mailed in the summer of 2014 about he badge is incorrect.
    I have had a season ticket since 1990 and go to about 7 away games per season and was never contacted on the badge issue.If this applied to others then the consultation may have been selective, just like the SAB prior to the move.

  4. It is true that the crest design went to SAB first (Supporters Advisory Board) but we were a glorified focus group with no real say in the design. They used the group for early feedback only.

    An email sent to a West Ham Director in 2014 by the SAB at the time of the online poll read:

    All the comments I’ve received to date are positive for change but negative on the proposed badge.

    Main points are:

    · Everyone is surprised that the choice appears to be between the old badge and the proposal and that no space was left for comments (smacks of a one-party state)

    · Everyone disliked the subliminal messages planted in the video which progressively lead to the current proposal

    · Most comments dislike:

    o the small font on UNITED

    o the inclusion of LONDON (as predicted)

    o The 3D version

    Most comments prefer :

    o A 2D version (though not the proposal)

    o Use of a single font

    o UNITED where LONDON is in the proposal

    KB’s tweets have not helped at all, with some implying that:

    o the SAB and earlier poll approved the proposal (not as far as we are aware)

    o that the choice is already made by the club

    o the proposal is all or nothing (which would be unfortunate as the current badge is a mess)

    JS’s tweets have stirred up a lot of dissent

    · What should have been an orderly process of consultation and choice now appears chaotic/mismanaged at a senior level.

    My concern is that by presenting a single (apparently) unpopular option the poll will result in no change at all. With you, the club (and SAB) having spent so much time and resources on this, it would be a great pity to “throw the baby out with bath water”. I can well appreciate that things have been more complicated than it seems to an outsider but cannot understand why there was no real flexibility in the choice.

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