Track & Field, as a global sport, has been, to steal a lyric from Led Zeppelin, " trampled underfoot" by other professional sports in the search for the almighty sponsorship dollar. Sports Business International noted that $16.78 billion will be spent on sports marketing in 2008--personally, a few hundred million for track and field would work well for all of us.
The sport has begun to professionalize. Look at groups such as Fast Track, Global Athletics & Marketing, Elite Racing, to name a few. The success in the past decade of USATF, from near bankruptcy to a robust positive in their coffers shows where the sport can go, with proper direction.
On the global side, kudos have to go to the IAAF and their web sites, which provide electronic, audio, video and written information on the sport from a to z. The healthy site also is a 24/7 sales tool for the sport---the IAAF portrays a very healthy,growing
and diverse sport marketplace. From Northern Europe, to Asia, to North America, the sport of athletics has a place for everyone!
The criticism of Dentsu, the global agency that sells for the IAAF is that they are too parochial-there are no sponsors from North America, and the Japanese sponsors have been unable to translate their zest for the sport to their North American divisions.
It is with great promise that I see the following announcement on the IAAF's search for a new brand identity. It is quite evident, for the sport to grow, that the sport must communicate itself better in this cluttered modern world of media overload. Performance must win over hype. In our sport, competition is one of our most important selling points.
IAAF appoints leading agencies to review brand and identity
Wednesday 16 January 2008
The IAAF is pleased to announce that it has appointed two major international companies to further develop and enhance the brand and identity for the IAAF.
After a very competitive tender process, the IAAF has decided to appoint The Works as its first ever official Branding Agency.
The Works is a leading branding agency based in Leeds, UK, that provides branding as well as other services in areas such as event, museum and exhibition designs, and already works with a number of top organizations in sport.
In close collaboration with the IAAF, the Works will create and deliver in all the different stages of the branding process including design, structure and application.
In addition to its partnership with the Works, the IAAF has appointed, Whitestone, as a consultant on the IAAF brand strategy.
Whitestone is a leading brand agency specializing in building sports brands and will support the existing branding team with its extensive knowledge and creativity in the field of brand strategy.
To ensure this process works efficiently, the IAAF will work in partnership with Dentsu, its world-wide Marketing Agency, and continue to team up with them in the future stages of the process.
The IAAF will now start working with the new formed team.
“With the IAAF Centenary coming up in 2012, the time is right to evaluate the IAAF’s brand identity and to make sure that we present ourselves in a way that allows us to promote ourselves in a way that is modern, relevant and exciting. We want to present a picture of a 21st century IAAF that the public understands and appreciates.”
Roy Webber, Managing Director of the Works said: “We are very excited to be working with the IAAF. We are looking forward to the challenge of delivering the improved branding and applying our creative approach to this project.”
Managing Director of Whitestone, Chris Lightfoot says “Athletics and the IAAF have a powerful history and we are looking forward to brining a new dimension to an already strong global brand.”
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