PokerStars Modifies Logo as Company Continues Its Rebranding

Posted on January 8th, 2016 by Jon Pineda

PokerStars logo rebranding Amaya

An updated PokerStars logo is in the process of reaching players, but the implementation strategy isn’t exactly sound according to some marketing experts. (Image: calvinayre.com)

PokerStars has modified its iconic logo for the first time since Amaya acquired the online card room in 2014.

It’s also the company’s first major branding overhaul dating back to its inception in 2001.

At first glance, the new emblem might not seem too major, the classic red spade moving from representing the “o” in PokerStars to separating Poker and Stars.

For nearly 15 years, the spade has called its spot between “P” and “k” home, which is why the change is actually quite significant.

In addition, all the letters have been capitalized, another differential from the longtime PokerStars facade.

Companies routinely alter their identifications in order to breathe new life into their brand and rejuvenate interest. Along with hundreds of others, Verizon, Turner Broadcasting, Spotify, and even Google and Facebook adjusted their corporate identities in 2015.

The fresh PokerStars logo now falls in line with new Amaya properties including the daily fantasy sports platform StarsDraft and sports betting site BetStars.

Will Anyone Care?

Penn State Marketing Professor Karen Winterich says many companies incorrectly assume their most loyal customers will pay little attention to a logo adjustment or change their consumer habits based on rebranding.

“Most companies presume that their most precious customers, those having strong brand commitment, will be more accommodating to changes,” Winterich wrote in 2011. “Our results show this is likely a mistaken assumption, one that can alienate the core.”

When it comes to poker, it’s hard to fathom that PokerStars could lose traffic based solely on their logo, especially considering the network is scheduled to return to the United States through New Jersey in the coming months.

Following Winterich’s thinking, the timing might actually be quite appropriate as PokerStars doesn’t currently have core customers due to the website’s inactivity in New Jersey since 2011.

Pressing the Issue

No trademark change in 2015 was more discussed than that of Google’s. For the first time since 1999, the multinational tech company modified its typeface in September to create what it hopes to exude “simplicity and delight.”

The rollout was picture-perfect according to marketing experts and much more successful than Yahoo’s 2013 efforts. Google’s in-depth blog post on the design process resonated with industry leaders.

“The Google post, signed by the VP of product management and director of user experience, is emotional without being at all personal,” University of Florida Public Relations Lecturer Kay Tappan wrote in September. “Yahoo … made a huge fanfare of its intent, and the rollout was an everything but-the-kitchen-sink affair.”

Unlike Google, PokerStars and Amaya are staying mum on the new symbol and haven’t publicly addressed the revision. The update is slowly being phased out across clients and websites, with the goal to completely rid the former logo by the end of March.

Amaya has been in the process of expanding PokerStars since its $4.9 billion purchase. PokerStars now offers online casino games featuring slots, blackjack, slots and more, and recently launched an Apple TV app.

Amaya also redesigned its own corporate website to make communications with investors and interested parties more streamlined.

PokerStars is expected to launch in New Jersey in the first six months of 2016.

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