Winter Games NZ is an elite international winter sports event held annually in Central Otago, New Zealand. Just months before entering their seventh edition of the Games, Audi, their title sponsor pulled out of the event. Up until that point, Audi had control over the brand image and look, a direction which came straight from their corporate office. Without Audi as a title sponsor, and no new title sponsor signed on to replace them, the Winter Games NZ was on a race against the clock to launch this years event with a new and independent brand.
The first thing we learned from our clients current situation was that their new brand needed to be completely immune to fluctuations in sponsor changes. Future sponsors could come and go and they needed the new brand to withstand time, be memorable and remain independent of sponsor influence.
We believed their main audience was Millennials. Keen explorers who are tech savvy, want a better work/life balance and are confident, ambitious and are concerned about environment and health. They are digitally confident and are influenced by their online network and seek cool, genuine, up to date digital content. 50% are from New Zealand but good international uptake in Australia, USA and UK.
It was important to our client to showcase Te Ao Maori (Maori world) and tikanga Maori (Maori customs) to the world. Something really important to the Winter Games NZ organisation is supporting the pathway of NZ athletes and inspire young kiwis to follow in their tracks.
With the help of the Winter Games NZ team and their iwi, we translated their original concept of a maunga (mountain) into a triangle that tells the story of the 3 pillars that support the organisation: NZ winter sports, the venues and The Games.
We purposefully kept the same colour palette so retain some heritage of the old brand but also the new colours supported the new story upon which the brand was build. Black for strength and stability. White for passion, clarity and light, and red for fire and the endeavour for excellence.
The fern was also an important element in telling the story of a uniquely kiwi event. It’s a symbol that is well recognised around the world as a proud representation of New Zealand, and new Zealand sport. The red star represents the start of Puanga, which leads the celestial signs to herald the Māori New Year (Matariki).
With a new brand identity and a strong story supporting it, Winter Games NZ hit the snowy ground in 2019 at full sprint. It’s future-proofed for years to come so they won’t have to worry about future sponsors stripping them of their identity.
The team and the athletes embraced the new brand with open arms and the event was extremely successful. We’re looking to many more years working with the team and we’re proud to have been part of such a positive change.
Market Discovery & Research
Messaging and Tone-of-voice
Art Direction & Concept Development
Branding & Visual Identity System
Brand Style Guidelines
Collateral Print Marketing
Website Design & Development
User Experience & Interface Design
Wireframing & Sitemapping
SEO Keyword Mapping