The 3rd of February is another big date in the run-up towards Russia’s first ever football World Cup. Exactly 500 days are left before the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, a high-profile tournament featuring eight stellar teams with a multitude of football superstars. For Russia, this is also the last test in action before the World Cup, coming up 12 months later. The Confederations Cup is a relatively recent tournament initiated in the early 1990s as a private event in Saudi Arabia, sponsored by the local business community.
The Confederations Cup, which is a kind of a full-dress rehearsal in the run-up to World Cup 2018, will be coming to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi between 17 June and 2 July 2017. Of the eight national teams that will take part, five are already known: Russia as the World Cup host country, Chile as the 2015 Cuppa America winner, Germany as the 2014 World Champion, Australia as the 2015 Asia Cup winner, and Mexico as the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winner. These will be joined by the winners of Euro 2016 and the Oceania Nations Cup, to be named in the summer of 2016. The last Confed Cup participant to be named will be the winner of the African Nations Cup in January 2017.
Eight strongest football teams on the planet hit the field once every four years, prior to each successive FIFA World Cup. Aptly dubbed “Champions’ Festival,” the FIFA Confederations Cup is the final test before the world’s No. 1 football championship. Russia, the host country of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will be hosting the 2017 Confederation Cup as well. With 500 days to go before the Cup, Russia is ready to present one of the key components of the tournament’s identity: its emblem.
The emblem is a kind of an introduction, or lead-in, to the World Cup: indeed, the Confederation Cup brand was created with the same idea and same subtext in mind as the ones embedded in the World Cup 2018 identikit. No surprise there, as the Confederation Cup concept and design were commissioned to the same Portuguese PR agency, Brandia Central, that had developed the World Cup identity and emblem.
The designers had been briefed to come up with a distinctive image that would give a foretaste of the football World Cup. So, they took the image of Firebird again, which is featured in the World Cup 2018 identity package, and built on it. The powerful, positive folk image that stands for myth, magic, and dreams come true, at the same time embodies movement, power, and drive – the characteristics of football.
Similarly to the World Cup emblem, the Confed Cup graphic logo had to fit in seamlessly with the silhouette of the tournament’s top prize. Hence a new interpretation of the Cup, added as the second part of the emblem: the spiral around the center of the trophy turns into a Firebird element. The other emblem components also come each with a meaning of its own: the eight points on the base indicate the eight participating teams, while the decorative elements evoke footballs and Russian folk ornaments at the same time.
The “layered” official style of the 2017 Confederations Cup is reminiscent of the World Cup 2018 style, and yet it is different. The official ornament and the figures are reminders of the affinity to the World Cup brand. They are painted in the same color scheme, but the colours are quieter, more subdued. This is the design to be used in preparations for the Cup: the cities and arenas will be decked out in this new style. As the Organizing Committee explained, this is because the Confederations Cup is a tournament in its own right, targeting primarily the “home” audience, which has to be prepared individually and needs its own imagery for presentation by the host cities.
The presentation of the emblem and unveiling of the Confederations Cup trophy are taking place at the GUM showroom. The guest of honor at the ceremony is 1998 World Champion and 2000 European Champion (with France national team) Christian Karembeu. As a 2001 Confederations Cup laureate, Karembeu is uniquely entitled to hold the tournament’s top trophy in his hands. The event is also attended by football fans from the number of Russian artists and showbiz celebrities.