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.
Karate shares a similar timeframe. The sport officially began in Okinawa in the early 1900’s with roots dating back over 1,000 years. In 2015, Karate was proposed for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.
Both Wrestling and Karate are traditional sports with deep roots and formal structures, and their brands and apparel are aligned accordingly with their traditional values. But the challenge with tradition is that today’s Olympics is based more upon 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
- Identified all of the possible design assets and media requirements needed
- Delivered refreshing and energized brand guidelines after surveying key stakeholders and analyzing results
- Developed new logos that both honoured the past and committed to the future of each sport. This also involved a set of provincial logos for Karate for greater 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
- Hosted their websites with ongoing maintenance
- 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 given each of them a professional, up-to-date site, at a reduced cost. 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 clients more than they think they can afford!