The Ancient Battle for Today’s Olympic Battleground
Wrestling, considered by many to be the oldest sport in the world, was also one of the first Olympic sports, added to the pentathlon in 708 B.C. In 2012, Wrestling began an epic battle to maintain their place on the 2016 Olympic programme against sports like softball and squash.
In a similar timeline, Karate, officially started in Okinawa in the early 1900’s with roots back over 1,000 years, was proposed in 2015 by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Both Wrestling and Karate are traditional sports with deep roots and formal structures and their brands and apparel aligned to those traditional values. The challenge with tradition is that today’s Olympics is based on sponsors and viewership.
The Epic Design team was contracted by both National Sport Organizations (NSO), Wrestling Canada Lutte and Karate Canada, to modernize and transform their brands, refreshing their entire identity to help them engage with a wider audience. With only a few months to complete each transformation, we:
- Worked with them to define their brand strategies, stories and customer engagement model
- Identify all of the possible design assets and media requirements
- Deliver refreshing and energized brand guidelines after surveying key stakeholders and analyzing results
- Develop new logos that both honoured the past but committed to the future of each sport, Karate also received a set of provincial logos to help provide them with improved unity across the Karate Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO)
- Designed the apparel look and feel for athlete competition wear as well as fan gear
- Defined, designed, developed and deployed new responsive websites with WordPress content management systems, allowing the NSO’s to manage their own futures; as well as help them migrate content from their existing sites
- Host and help maintain their sites and brands
- Additional wrestling-sanctioned event branding
Canadian NSO’s have an additional challenge — funding. One of the ways that our team has helped make the brand transformation successful is by working together. Both Wresting and Karate have leveraged the same base website, with minor modifications to their needs, this has allowed both to get a professional, up-to-date site, at a reduced cost to both. The sites also provide them with a simple donation management system that allows them to receive payments and provide donation tax receipts. Our ability to work with non-profit sports organizations is always exciting and we love being able to adapt to give our client’s more than they think they can afford!