Image shows Decathlon's new art direction style created as part of its new branding, as featured on a photo of people hiking in the sunny countryside with the new wordmark and circular logo laid over the top

Decathlon marks a fresh chapter with new branding and campaign

The sports company has unveiled a new logo, strategy and design system to help align its many ‘in-house’ labels with the overarching Decathlon brand

Founded in 1976, French sports company Decathlon is known as a hub for buying sports apparel and equipment by leading brands such as Asics, adidas – and many brands that are actually part of Decathlon itself.

Not satsified with its image as a storefront for other brands, Decathlon’s new branding sees it attempt to move away from being a retail company and cement itself as “global sports brand” in its own right.

The company enlisted brand consultancy Wolff Olins, who worked together on a two-year brand transformation exercise. The result is an overhauled strategy, visual identity, and overall brand experience, which have been redesigned to more clearly align its 85 ‘in-house’ brands with the overarching Decathlon brand.

Image shows Decathlon's new wordmark and circular logo, created as part of its new branding

After establishing the role that sport plays within people’s lives, and in turn how Decathlon could fit into that, the team eventually landed on the new positioning, ‘Make sport yours’, which chimes with the general move away from sport being about perfectionism and elitism towards participation and pleasure, irrespective of ability.

The brand evolution includes a tweaked version of the existing wordmark, which has remained fairly similar throughout the history of Decathlon, as well as an entirely new logo dubbed L’Orbit. The new logo will have a substantial role to play as it will appear across various brand touchpoints, but also on the physical products themselves.

Image shows Decathlon's new circular logo and wordmark on store signage, created as part of its new branding

Though some of the executions could slip into the territory of tech brands like Intel, the new design generally seems like it will be at home next to adjacent sports brands, and pulls firmly back into the remit of sport when combined with photography.

Elsewhere, Wolff Olins worked with Grilli Type to develop a custom typeface, Decathlon Sans, which references the angle of the ‘A’ in Decathlon’s wordmark with a set of slanted alternate characters. The typography is joined by a new tone of voice and motion design principles.

Image shows three out of home billboards created as part of a new Decathlon campaign, featuring the campaign slogan 'ready to play?'

The creative team also developed a fresh approach to art direction involving a greater emphasis on inclusion and enjoyment, which will feature in Decathlon’s new campaign created by AMV BBDO (part of the Omnicom network, like Wolff Olins). Both the spot directed by Hector Dockrill and the accompanying campaign stills shot by Tom Sloan are an invitation to the public to get involved, steered by the campaign line ‘Ready to play?’

It’s the first piece of work from Decathlon’s partnership with AMV BBDO, and demonstrates what the agency’s ECD Laura Rogers describes as the brand’s new “democratic and people-centred approach to sport”.

Image shows Decathlon's new website design created as part of its new branding
Image shows Decathlon's new motion design principles applied to typography, created as part of its new branding

Agency (Brand): Wolff Olins
Agency (Campaign): AMV BBDO
Director: Hector Dockrill
Production Company: Magna Studios
Photographer: Tom Sloan