The previous crest was adopted from the City Council in the mid 1970s, and the new badge includes a number of the key elements from the City's crest, demonstrating the importance that the rugby club has within the city and to the people of the city.
By launching the new badge now, it will become established in time for the new season. It is modelled on the City coat-of-arms. The two 'supporters' (lions) on either side of the shield are adopted as a tribute to the spirit of the citizens of Gloucester. Together with the helmet and masoned circlet with battlement, it refers back to 1643 when the people of Gloucester successfully held the besieged city. The shield signifies the importance that rugby has to the people and the city of Gloucester.
The new club identity keeps the reference to the City, the history of Gloucester and the battle in 1643 and the people and supporters of both Gloucester Rugby and the City.
The rugby ball image in the new badge refers to the importance of both the game and the city as a partnership.
The new badge is a simpler design that has benefits in terms of its use on merchandise, products and its reproduction as a whole. There are currently many different versions of the crest in use, and the new image will offer a more consistent approach.
During the past 30 years the Club's crest, which was the City's coat of arms, has remained unchanged, since the Council gave the Club permission to use it the mid 1970s.
The Club's identity has evolved over the years, with no crest being used at all on first team shirts prior to the 70s. The decision to introduce a new crest in the summer of 2005 allows the Club to incorporate a number of elements from the city crest and copyright it.
It has always been one of the Club's primary objectives to move forward as a business and the Club believes that this is the ideal time to introduce a new crest.
The badge used up to and including the 2004/05 season is the Gloucester City coat of arms crest with the name underneath it, and the Club is unable to copyright it themselves, which limits certain opportunities.
It doesn't necessarily stop the Club from doing anything, but it also doesn't stop anyone else from doing what they want with the crest either, or associating themselves with the organisation in an unofficial capacity.
The Club had no control over who uses it or what they use it for. Up to now Gloucester was the only Zurich Premiership club that didn't own its own crest.
It is vital that the new badge was modelled on the city coat of arms, and it now allows the club to develop commercial opportunities and manage its brand identity, which will help develop Gloucester as both a business and a rugby club.
The first appearance of the new badge is on the season ticket brochures for the 2005/06 season, and it will be integrated into all Club materials, including the official website, first team shirt and merchandise over the course of the summer.