The new Astra spectator box brings communal atmosphere to the Millerntor Stadium

The beer brand Astra does not only cultivate a neighbourhood feeling reminiscent of Hamburg's St. Pauli district, but it also owns the largest spectator box at the city's Millerntor Stadium too. Following a fundamental redesign by the brand space experts at the Peter Schmidt Group a new corporate area has been created at the stadium that now perfectly fits today's styling of the brand and its communication. Yet, it is not an elitist VIP spectator box like many others, but rather a communal space that now offers different areas in which to enjoy a beer or two whilst watching the game unfold outside. Even though the redesigned box has only been opened for a few weeks, Astra is already more than satisfied with this new extension of its brand appearance.

The beer brand Astra does not only cultivate a neighbourhood feeling reminiscent of Hamburg's St. Pauli district, but it also owns the largest spectator box at the city's Millerntor Stadium too. Following a fundamental redesign by the brand space experts at the Peter Schmidt Group a new corporate area has been created at the stadium that now perfectly fits today's styling of the brand and its communication. Yet, it is not an elitist VIP spectator box like many others, but rather a communal space that now offers different areas in which to enjoy a beer or two whilst watching the game unfold outside. Even though the redesigned box has only been opened for a few weeks, Astra is already more than satisfied with this new extension of its brand appearance.

Beyond the borders of Hamburg anyone who buys one of Astra's distinctive bottles chooses to not only drink great beer, but to also experience some of St. Pauli's distinctive atmosphere too. Astra has owned the largest spectator box at the Millerntor Stadium since 2008, yet as distinctive as the Astra brand is, its box had been as non-descript as any other and in contrast to its brand appearance, was felt to be neither cool nor characteristic. Astra had thus decided to renovate close to 70 square metres of potential brand space and decided to work in partnership with the brand and design agency the Peter Schmidt Group to create a concept and subsequent new look for its spectator box.  The agency's Brand Spaces Team has successfully designed a new area that now more accurately reflects the home of the cult German football club FC St. Pauli so that the excitement out on the pitch extends into the viewing environment too.

More entertainment and a better program that even attracts other spectators

After three home games at the Millerntor Stadium Astra is more than happy with the new design. "We wanted our spectator box to be stronger in character to better reflect our brand values so that we could offer our guests greater entertainment, more action and a better program for their visit", said Oliver Piskora, Senior Brand Manager at Astra. He added that, "Following the first few games our expectations have been more than fulfilled, so much so that after the final whistle has been blown the Astra box now also attracts guests from other spectator boxes too". Martin Drust, Head of Marketing and Sales at FC St. Pauli, further affirmed this success with "The new Astra box with table football and pong, as well as a cool music program, enhances our VIP area even more".

Steven Cichon, Director of Brand Spaces at the Peter Schmidt Group, was responsible for the overall redesign and his team has created an environment reminiscent of a boisterous, shared house party that is styled with elements of graffiti culture combined with a punk look and presented within the charm of a shabby, 1970's apartment. Tasteful fixtures and flawless catering of the past have been replaced by worn sofas and a retro kitchenette that offers football favourites of currywurst and fish rolls for guests to enjoy. Stifling, business small talk has also been replaced by the lively chatter generated by digital and analogue games which complement the action taking place outside. There is even a huge boombox that serves as both a bar and a DJ console and where the latest technology has been hidden under a trendy, vintage look. "Within these 70 square metres we have created many rooms within a single space. Different materials and strategically placed furniture combine with diverse floor decoration to seamlessly divide the spectator box into a kitchen, hallway, TV room and communal living area. This is how we have created the perfect atmosphere to do what is best done together with close friends, namely to watch football whilst now and then grabbing a beer from the crate", explained Steven.

Alongside his team Steven has realised every single step of the spectator box's conversion, from a first design concept with furniture and material choices to cost planning and tendering right through to onsite support during the whole renovation process. Numerous unique elements have also been especially developed for Astra's new box, such as retro look wallpaper that incorporates the characteristic shape of the Astra bottle within its design together with graffiti, tags and stickers which have been created by the Peter Schmidt Group.

The Peter Schmidt Group is currently Germany's top selling brand and design agency and has offices across Germany in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf as well as in Tokyo. The agency supports many global corporations, such as Linde and Henkel, financial concerns, such as Postbank and Union Investment, as well as cultural institutions and numerous food companies. The Peter Schmidt Group has also been responsible for the brand identity of Deutsche Bahn since 2017. The work of the agency's Brand Spaces Team ranges from corporate architecture and retail design to pop-up, trade fair and event creation right though to digitally networked, interactive brand communication across all spaces, from a first concept draft through to full implementation. The team's current customers include Hilti, Linde and Carlsberg.