If you’ve been watching the 2014 World Cup, you may have noticed that the fourth official’s board has a new look. Hublot, a Swiss luxury watch company and the Official Timekeeper of the World Cup, redesigned the boards to look like a watch instead of the traditional black, rectangle design we’ve seen over the last several years.
From Hublot, here’s why they decided to change the design:
The new optimized design, keeps the former technical specifications, while boasting a more ergonomic grip and polished aesthetics to make it not only practical but also attractive. The board maintains a weight that was strictly controlled throughout its technical development to avoid unnecessary sustained effort.
Let’s be honest here, Hublot. This has nothing to do with ergonomic grips and unnecessary effort. This is all about marketing. Your board is a giant watch and it’s a pretty direct attempt to boost brand image. At the very least, it’s kind of working as evidenced by this article. However, seeing that giant watch is kind of off-putting. FIFA’s attempt to remove their tainted image of corruption and succumbing to the highest bidder is weakened each time you see this giant watch (as if it needed further weakening). It also doesn’t really make sense considering most of the time the numbers being displayed reflect player substitutions and have nothing to do with time.
What’s next, branded yellow and red cards?