Andy Murray courts controversy with ‘SS’ logo

Andy Murray and, inset, the new logo. Main picture: Getty
Andy Murray and, inset, the new logo. Main picture: Getty
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ANDY Murray has unveiled his own personalised logo to a mixed reaction, with many praising its heraldic design but others saying it resembles the symbol used by the Waffen SS.

The British tennis No 1 follows in the footsteps of fellow champion Roger Federer in having his own logo on his on-court apparel.

Designers Aesop revealed the motif is a combination of his initials “AM” and the number “77” to indicate his Wimbledon win in 2013 came 77 years after the last British champion Fred Perry lifted the men’s singles trophy.

Murray will display the logo for the first time on his on-court bag and training T-shirts at the Australian Open in Melbourne next week.

Yesterday, fans appeared unsure what to make of it.

Twitter user Hilary Evans said: “Andy Murray’s new logo shows what happens when the symbol of the Waffen SS mates with the old HTV Wales logo.”

Fellow Twitter user Mr H also saw a resemblance to the icono­graphy of the Waffen SS during the Second World War – the armed wing of the Nazi’ Party’s Schutzstaffel (SS) or “Protection Squad”.

He posted: “A tad on the SS/Nazi/digital alarm clock numerals side?”

A World to Win ‏also asked on Twitter: “Can’t be the only people who think Andy’s new personal logo is open to misinterpretation.”

However, the logo also drew praise, with designer Penny Toogood posting: “Super clever #andymurray logo – initials and 77 management company name.”

Mark Brown added: “Quite like that Murray logo myself – can imagine it looking smart across loads of different formats.”

Peter Anderson said: “It is a nice shape to go on tennis racquets and shirts, and is simple but meaningful with AM +77.”

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However, design agency Thomas James Design said: “Andy Murray’s new logo – not very him in my opinion, aggressive, thought he’d go for something more traditional.”

Murray became the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon singles title in 2013, and the number combined with his initials is also the name of the management company he set up following his second grand slam victory.

The launch of the logo follows Murray’s switch of clothing sponsor from Adidas to Under Armour. Dan Calderwood, design director at Aesop, who won the prestigious account following an eight-way global pitch last year, said: “We wanted to create a modern mark that captures Andy’s energy and spirit whilst subtly referencing his affinity with the number 77.

“It’s simple and striking, with heraldic cues that echo his dominance on the court.”

Aesop executive creative director Martin Grimer added: “We’ve had a lot of fun working with Andy in developing him an iconic identity, and it’s exciting to see it launching at such a big evening on the tennis calendar.”

Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday Murray will join Federer and world No 1 Novak Djokovic at next month’s Dubai Duty Free tennis championships.

The Scot lost to Federer in the final in 2012 on his most recent appearance at the tournament, which begins on 23 February.

Murray follows a number of sports stars who have come up with their own logo. His rival Roger Federer’s RF logo is well known at tennis events. Other stars with logos include footballers Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In 2013, Bale successfully applied for intellectual property rights to his “11 of hearts” trademark celebration while recent Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo has brought out an entire fashion range under his CR7 logo.

Fellow footballer David Beckham and wife Victoria are known for several logos having in effect turned themselves into brands. They have unveiled a range of trade marks and logos over the years, including the David Beckham signature and the recent DVB Victoria Beckham design logo. However, perhaps the most famous sports star logo is that of basketball star Michael Jordan, who joined Nike to release a range of footwear and clothing in the 80s which is still recognised and in use today.

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