World Rugby Sevens is rebranded as SVNS and launches new campaign

A new ad campaign from Dark Horses sees the event given a festival-style makeover, which emphasises that there is more on offer than the rugby

The new branding and name marks a refresh of the Sevens Series, which is now known as HSBC SVNS. Beginning in December, there will be eight ‘festivals’ taking place in Dubai, Cape Town, Perth, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore and Madrid, each showcasing the world’s top Sevens athletes across 12 men’s and women’s teams.

Rugby is the latest sport to abandon some of its traditional imagery and approach in order to reach new and younger audiences, with the campaign and branding for HSBC SVNS deliberately pitched at the 18-34 market and designed to embrace the sport, but also a wider festival atmosphere.

The new identity features bold colours and an illustration system based on the sun’s rays, which appears on both the logo and across the posters for the event.

Accompanying the new branding is an ad campaign by Dark Horses, which stars New Zealand comedian Barnie Duncan, and takes inspiration from classic travel guide TV shows. With its comedic and lo-fi approach, the spot couldn’t be further removed from the epic style ads we might be used to seeing to promote rugby, and it again puts an emphasis on the wider entertainment taking place at the events.

“You don’t have to love rugby, to love a weekend at the SVNS,” reiterates Steve Howell, ECD at Dark Horses. “And that’s what this work is all about: it’s not an event, it’s a destination that transcends the sport, unlike anything you’ve seen or experienced before.”

In addition to the hero film, Dark Horses has created a range of bold social and digital, mixing some of the stars of the game with colourful graphics of burgers, rugby balls, palm trees and cocktails, all in a vibrant festival style.

Agency: Dark Horses
ECD: Steve Howell
Creative Directors: Josh Pearce, Sean Johnson
Creatives: Eve de Haan, Josie Beaumont
Senior Editor: Steve Fowler
Senior Designer: Yuriko Ui
Designer: Jordan Dicks
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: Max Barden