The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has modernised its brand in a bold move designed to give fans more access to the athletes wearing green and gold at the Rio Games.
The new brand reflects Australia’s Olympic heritage but is designed to resonate with the current and future generation.
“We are bringing the athletes and the fans together with one emblem so every Australian feels they are part of the Team,” AOC Chief Executive Officer, Fiona de Jong said at the launch of the new brand in Sydney.
Australian athletes have worn the crest and rings since 1908 and it has been part of the AOC’s mark since 1953. De Jong and her Team felt it was time to revitalise the brand while maintaining the history and heritage associated with the Australian Olympic Team.
“The crest and rings is one of the most treasured brands in the world and we have been mindful to preserve its history and heritage,” she said.
The colours of the wattle are dominant and the new design salutes our native animals and the star represents the states and territories of Australia. They come together in a clean, modern, simple and strong way.
The modernisation of the brand was prompted by new guidelines introduced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reducing the number of marks a National Olympic Committee can use.
“The IOC direction worked in our favour. The AOC simply had too many marks. It was the catalyst for change that has resulted in one vision, one team, one Olympic identity,” de Jong said. “For the first time we’ve looked at our two Olympic marks, the crest and rings and the flag and rings and brought them together. Now there is one brand that athletes will compete in, sponsors will use commercially and fans will engage with.”
The AOC invited athletes to attend focus groups and fans to complete surveys with their input incorporated into the design process.
“The Brand Team was very focused on ensuring that athletes were at the heart of the project. Past, present and future Olympians were hugely influential in the entire process.. What we heard was a strong desire to preserve the history and heritage of the brand but modernise the emblem so it feels fresher and resonates more strongly with future generations,” de Jong said.
“The new look is energetic and fresh,” said pole vault gold medallist Steve Hooker.
“I love the new look, it is a modern version of who we are as an Australian Olympic Team yet it respects our heritage,” said Lydia Lassila aerial skiing gold medallist.
The AOC has also received a very positive response from its other stakeholders, especially its sponsors and suppliers.
Already sponsors are incorporating the new look into their marketing and activation plans.
“From a commercial point of view I am positive the new brand will come to life in a much stronger fashion with future generations of Australians. That in turn will benefit sponsors and ultimately the future Olympians who are funded by the AOC.”
Ms de Jong praised her Brand Team which included AOC staff, WiteKite, Excalibre Insights and Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM).
“We have not touched the brand in many decades. This was a bold move which required industry expertise to help guide our thinking. It was a truly collaborative effort which has resulted in an outcome we are immensely proud to share with all Australians today.”
The first athletes to compete with the new mark will be the Winter Youth Olympians at Lillehammer in February 2016.
Hockey: Beijing 2008, London 2012
“I love the new look. The use of the native Aussie animals and the vibrant gold means you look at it and instantly recognise it as Australian. A really modern style that I know all Aussie athletes will be aspiring to wear in Rio.”
Canoe/Kayak Sprint: London 2012
“The new look is a perfect fit for the Olympic Teams moving forward. The concept is in line with all the current values that the athletes share while maintaining our amazing history. If I get selected to my second Olympic Team next year, I will be so excited and proud to wear the logo and colours on my uniform in Rio. Because of the fresh look I think the Australian public will feel a lot more connected with our future Olympic Teams as it represents a new generation and is exciting.
I am so honoured to be a part of the Olympic Family as they recognise how important sport is, not only for the athletes but the Australian public and are so committed to enhancing sport in Australia.”
Hockey: Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 (Gold), Sydney 2000 (Gold)
“It was a fantastic experience to be involved in this process. The new direction retains the historical and distinctively Australian elements while adding a modern and fresh new look that I’m sure all Olympic athletes and fans will feel proud of.”
Steve HOOKER OAM
AOC Athletes Commission
Athletics: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 (Gold), London 2012
“The look is energetic and fresh and our simplified logo makes us more recognisable to youth. Our vibrant look will help inspire the next generation of Olympic hopefuls”
Basketball: Beijing 2008, London 2012
“I really like the gold, it’s a good gold. Everyone is going to quickly recognise us and know who we are with the Kangaroo and Emu.”
Hockey: Athens 2004 (Gold), Beijing 2008, London 2012 (Bronze)
“Loving the look of the new logo. It's crisp, modern and I look forward to representing Team Australia with it on our uniforms.”
AOC Athletes Commission
Aerials: Salt Lake 2002, Torina 2006, Vancover 2010 (Gold), Sochi 2014 (Bronze)
“I love the look! It’s a modern version of who we are as an Australian Olympic Team, yet it respects our heritage and where we’ve come from.
Track Cycling: London 2012 (Bronze)
“When I first saw the look I felt a real sense of pride. The colours really resonate with me, especially that beautiful bright gold. I think the values really hit all the marks on what makes an Olympian but what makes us uniquely an Australian Olympian. I am looking forward to wearing the Olympic uniform with the new graphics in particular as it’s trendy and contemporary but also traditional.”
AOC Athletes Commission
Gymnastics – Artistic: Beijing 2008, London 2012
“This Australian Olympic look is now a visual expression of what values Australian athletes are striving to display on a world stage. It sums up perfectly the values of pride, excellence, leadership, resilience, and mateship. It keeps the Australian tradition of green and gold as our sporting colours alive, with a bold contrast between the two. We are engaging with the fans though the use of the coat of arms, yet keeping the logo simple and effective showing the world that we are proud to be Australian and represent our country. I will be honoured to display the logo on my uniform!”
Gymnastics Artistic: Athens 2004
“Being part of the process for the Australian Olympic Committee was a true honour. I believe my personal values as an Australian Olympian and the values of pride, mateship, excellence, resilience and leadership are envisaged in the modernised look. Thank-you to the AOC for taking the time to listen to my stories, it continues to demonstrate why I am so passionate and proud to be an Australian Olympian.”
Swimming: Singapore 2010 YOG (Gold), Rio 2016 Hopeful
“The updated Australian Olympic Team identity is an exciting evolution – a vibrant, powerful embodiment of the Olympic values and what it means to represent the green and gold.”