Building a brand for an Olympic athlete

JKR has created a playful identity for gymnast Courtney Tulloch, inspired by his signature moves. We talk to JKR and Tulloch about the project and how branding can help athletes grow their following and build a career beyond competitive sport 

Courtney Tulloch began training as a gymnast when he was just six years old. Now aged 25, he is the Commonwealth Games champion on rings and a proud member of the Team GB Olympic squad. 

Alongside training and taking part in international tournaments, Tulloch has built a strong profile on social media. Through his YouTube channel and Instagram account (which has over 40,000 followers), he posts inspirational and honest content that captures the highs and lows of life as a professional athlete, sharing workout videos, selfies and snapshots of his daily routine.  

While gymnastics is Tulloch’s main focus, he is also keen to build a platform beyond competitive sport – whether through mentoring young athletes and working with youth groups or launching his own range of clothing and merchandise. For someone who grew up looking up to athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer and Michael Jordan, success isn’t just about winning medals or standing on the podium – it’s also about using your platform to inspire and motivate others and having a wider cultural impact.

“It’s always been my dream and my goal to have a brand,” he tells CR. “I look at people like Ronaldo and Jordan and their brand and what they have … and they’re more than an athlete or a sportsperson,” he tells CR. “I love inspiring people, I’m into fashion, I’ve got a lot more that I want to do outside of gymnastics as well, so that’s something I’ve always wanted.”

Thanks to a collaboration with branding agency JKR, Tulloch now has his own visual identity, and a soon-to-be-released clothing range featuring upbeat phrases inspired by his attitude to sport. The identity launched earlier this year, and Tulloch hopes it will help him build his profile and reach a wider audience outside of gymnastics.