During the Beijing Olympics, the fourth most watched sport around the world was a game that, in England, is better known as a second sport to help maintain fitness. Volleyball England was tasked with increasing awareness of the sport here and encouraging more of us into the game at all levels – from recreational play to the premier performance levels required for London 2012.
Thinkfarm was asked to examine Volleyball England’s business strategy and develop brand positioning, an identity system and a campaign to communicate the attractions and benefits of the game across all of its forms and engage audiences from students to top notch league players. This was also an opportunity to provide consistency across the names and identities that were being used to promote events, leagues and other entities.
With the team at Volleyball England we reviewed several possible routes before choosing to develop a vibrant, simple and straightforward look that uses red and white to reflect the national colours. In it, the O of volleyball becomes a moving ball and the unique stitch pattern of competition volleyball to mimic the St George cross. The graphical structure of the logo also allows us to cater for sub-brands and regular events, meeting the need for a consistent presentation across the organisation.
To understand the structure of volleyball in this country, what it has to offer and the experiences of people already playing, we conducted interviews with a range of people in and around the game. We found that Volleyball offers many desirable benefits. It uniquely allows able bodied, disabled, male and female players to join in one game. It can be very competitive but is there is no body contact, it is simple to set up equipment, can be played in a variety of spaces from indoor sports halls to parks and beaches, and it has a big glamour shot called the ‘spike’. We summarized the brand position into a single phrase: For skills, fitness, tactics and great social buzz, go spike!