Being an athlete is a full-time, year-round commitment, but many audiences and partner organisations only think of the Olympics when the events come around every four years. Thisaway was invited to help Team GB, run by the British Olympic Association, stay front of mind during off season.
The goal was to grow Team GB’s profile, transform the brand to be fit for digital, and make it possible to build stronger relationships with sponsors and commercial partners – Team GB being entirely commercially funded. The refresh comes ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Paris.
While Olympic teams are considered the cream of the crop, the new identity instead sets out to dress down the elitism of elite sport. “At the heart of the brand has always been a simple but compelling observation: that when it’s at its best, Team GB helps and facilitates ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things,” says Thisaway. It led to the introduction of a new brand line, which has been evolved from its existing slogan ‘Believe in Extraordinary’ to the more informal ‘Everyday Extraordinary’.
Abstract, contrasting patterns are a central component in the new identity, allowing enough flexibility to work with all of the different sports and athletes associated with Team GB. The patterns can be used as general graphic devices or tailored to evoke certain events, and come alive when motion is applied.
The team worked with typographer Lewis McGuffie to create a new bespoke typeface, Team GB Sans, which balances clarity and personality. It cleverly references the bends, curves, and arcs seen across sport, from sports grounds to equipment to athletes’ movements. It comes with a “distinctive” set of alternates for big brand moments, allowing the brand to adapt to both sides of its ‘Everyday Extraordinary’ concept.
The palettes include the all important red, white, and blue colours of the Union Jack flag, but as Thisaway explains, those colours aren’t unique to Britain, with France and the USA among the countries also staking a claim to them. Instead of abandoning them altogether, Thisaway chose to “embrace them and push the iconic red, white, and blue as far as we could”, resulting in an extensive palette that nods to those colours while offering alternative shades, from pale blues to magenta to dove grey. These sit alongside more neutral tones nodding to the gold, silver, and bronze medals.
“From the very beginning of the project Thisaway challenged us to broaden the vision and purpose of our brand. That meant that our new positioning not only enables us to continue to inspire our athletes and coaches but also engages the wider UK population throughout the Olympic cycle,” said Team GB director of communications and marketing Scott Field.
“This, married with the fresh and dynamic new identity, has given the organisation a renewed energy and confidence. We now have a fantastic platform to help us achieve our commercial and sporting goals as we build towards Paris 2024.”