Law firm logos often find themselves in the minor leagues of the branding world.
For all the work that goes into choosing the right font, color and design, they don’t generally get much broader public exposure. Beyond websites and office plaques, big firm logos are normally confined to branded pens, umbrellas and maybe the odd stress ball.
But the logos of some firms are now to be found across the world of sport, thanks to some high-profile sponsorship deals.
A few months after a pair of Am Law 100 firms sought to put their mark on professional golf, London-based Ashurst has signed a rare deal with English cricket star Alastair Cook that will see the Anglo-Australian legal giant’s emblem prominently featured on his bat for the next 12 months.
Although Cook resigned as England cricket captain earlier this year, he remains one of the national team’s key players and is regarded as one of the best batsmen of his generation, having set a host of records.
Cook is England’s all-time leading scorer in Test cricket—the five-day version of the game—and was the youngest-ever player from any country to score 11,000 Test runs, beating the record held by legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar. He has also scored more Test centuries—an innings of at least 100 runs—than any English batsman in history. (U.S. readers more familiar with baseball should click here for a quick primer on cricket or read this feature story from ESPN’s Wright Thompson about the gentleman’s game.)
Crucially for Ashurst, the firm’s deal with Cook will cover the next Ashes series—a high-profile contest between England and Australia that normally takes place every two years. The 70th edition of one of cricket’s oldest and fiercest rivalries will take place in Australia between Nov. 23 and Jan. 8, 2018.
Such law firm sponsorship deals are rare, but not unprecedented.
In 2005, Thompson & Knight became the first law firm to sponsor a golfer in the PGA Tour, inking a deal with U.S. pro Harrison Frazar. More recently, Reed Smith sponsored Colin Swatton, the caddie of former world No. 1 and PGA Championship winner Jason Day, while Cozen O’Connor signed a two-year deal in January with PGA veteran William McGirt that will see him wear kit-branded with the firm’s logo.
Outside the world of golf, King & Wood Mallesons signed a “long-term strategic partnership” with Australian Olympic cycling champion Anna Meares to become the firm’s “brand ambassador.”
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a top U.S. plaintiffs firm, has also sponsored its own professional cycling team. In May, Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman mourned the death of one of his team’s riders after a crash during a race in New Mexico.