London, United Kingdom – The English Premier League unveiled its new, sponsor-free “visual identity” on Tuesday, which will take effect from the 2016-17 season onwards.
The money-spinning English top flight is ending its 12-year association with Barclays bank in favour of becoming a ‘clean brand’ and will from now on be known simply as ‘the Premier League’.
The new logo — a crowned lion’s head gazing to the right, accompanied by either the words ‘Premier League’ or ‘PL’ — will replace the current logo of a lion with its left paw on a football.
“From next season we will move away from title sponsorship and the competition will be known as the Premier League, a decision which provided the opportunity to consider how we wanted to present ourselves as an organisation and competition,” said Premier League managing director Richard Masters in a press release.
“We are very pleased with the outcome: a visual identity which is relevant, modern and flexible that will help us celebrate everyone that makes the Premier League.
“We look forward to sharing more details of our new positioning in the coming months.”
Canadian brewery Carling was the Premier League’s first title sponsor between 1993 and 2001.
Barclaycard, an offshoot of British bank Barclays, took over in 2001 before Barclays itself took up the reins three years later.
Barclays paid £120 million ($173.2 million, 154.8 million euros) in 2012 for its most recent three-year contract.
By dropping its title sponsor, the Premier League is bringing itself in line with major American sporting competitions such as the NFL and NBA.
The Premier League is the most lucrative football championship in the world, with 17 of its clubs featuring in the top 30 of financial consultants Deloitte’s most recent football rich list.
The coming year will see its wealth swell yet further, with a new domestic television rights deal worth £5.14 billion due to kick in at the start of the 2016-17 season.
The forthcoming sale of overseas TV rights for the period 2016-2019 is expected to add around a further £3 billion to the pot.