At the end of the 2019-20 season FC Schalke 04 found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Having won only nine of their 34 games the team from Gelsenkirchen finished the campaign in 12th position of the Bundesliga and their fans were far from happy.
With supporter emotions high and COVID-19 forcing the season to a temporary halt, the marketing team at Schalke had their work cut out to present a positive marketing message for the release of their 20/21 kit.
It was time to dig deep and rejuvenate the passion and spirit that has long provided the club with the fourth biggest following in Europe.
With over 110,000 members, FC Schalke 04 are a no-nonsense club that is extremely proud of its industrial heritage. The mining history of Gelsenkirchen features highly in the club's branding and provides the club with a fan base who expect grit and determination above all else.
With photo shoot opportunities proving problematic during lockdown, the marketing team at Schalke envisaged the creation of an original artwork that combined the new kits with the history and passion of the club. After seeing examples of the artwork created for Hibernian FC, they commissioned SPARKIUS to take on the creative challenge.
With no promotional photographs of players in the new kits available, the first task for SPARKIUS was the creation of three realistic art images featuring players wearing the new Home, Away and Third kits.
After approval from kit manufacturers Umbro, the player images were ready to be incorporated into a backdrop featuring a mixture of club legends and the industrial mining heritage of Gelsenkirchen.
Time was spent researching the history of both town and club before creating a montage of images depicting an inspirational mix of local heritage and previous club successes.
As a final touch, the corporate branding of both the club and Umbro was incorporated into the artwork to mirror the Schalke graffiti art that is prevalent in and around Gelsenkirchen.
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