Ilkley Town AFC has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. There are more than 2000 people that are involved in the club including players, supporters, volunteers and local businesses.
It is now updating its branding to reflect and promote Ilkley’s qualities. The new club badge has an image of the Cow and Calf rocks and the club have adopted Baht ‘atters as their nickname.
Club Chairman Richard Giles said, “We are very aware of the important role we play in the town. Team sports have a huge positive benefit to all those involved and brings people together for a common purpose. The football club is at the heart of our community. Ilkley is a very special place and we wanted to update the branding to reflect that and promote the unique qualities of the town.”
The new club badge is part of a rebranding to elevate the club to the next level. It respects the club’s history and also include something that is emblematic of the town. So, as well as the image of the Cow and Calf rocks it retains the motto Palma Non-Sine Pulvere – “No Reward without effort” – which has been part of the club’s logo for 40 years.
The club asked its members to vote on their preferred options for a new nickname. The favoured choice was Baht ‘atters, obviously in reference to the famous song that Ilkley is known for all around the world.
Richard said “It was actually quite difficult to decide on a nickname that reflected the strong heritage of the town and portrayed the club in the right way. The committee were undecided, so we thought it best to ask our members. 156 members voted and chose Baht ‘atters, which brilliantly reflects Ilkley’s unique and special place. Together with the Cow and Calf logo this really presents a distinctive image of the club based on the town’s character.”
Ilkley Town are entering the next phase of the development. The most obvious elements are moving to semi- professional status, which is likely to be deferred by a year, and developing an elite player program. The rebranding of the club will help them to promote the club further afield.
Richard added “We need to attract more supporters and sponsors to keep pace with the growing success on the field. The brand is how we communicate what we stand for to a wider audience.
“We are interested to learn from other clubs that have successfully climbed the non-league ladder. Last week, I spoke with the Chairman of Forest Green Rovers about their journey. Forest Green is based in Nailsworth, a town of 6,000 people and have risen to League 2. It was really interesting to hear how they had used their brand to build fan clubs nationally and internationally. Our rebrand will help us reach more people and further afield.”
The club have a clear ethos based on improving the quality of lives for everyone involved in the club and being at the heart of the local community. Sport, especially team sport, is a powerful and positive influence on well- being.
The club have joined together with Ilkley Bid to promote local businesses during the period of lockdown to their club members and through social media.
“We have found that our sponsors and other local businesses are pleased that we have reached out to them with the offer of support. Some of them remain open for business and want to make sure as many local people are aware of that. Others just want to remain in touch with customers for when they do re-open. Our access to club members and supporters is a good route for them to reach many local families”