Tennis Australia unwraps new brand identity for Australian Open

Serving Man logo takes backseat to new AO rebranding, which aims to reflect the event's wider entertainment proposition and appeal to digitally savvy consumers

Tennis Australia has revealed the new identity of the Australian Open, a rebrand aimed at engaging new audiences and upgrading the brand mark not only to better resonate digitally, but to also reflect the sport’s wider appeal as an entertainment offering.

Tennis Australia marketing manager, Jo Juler, said the motivation for the master rebrand to AO - and the move away from using the ‘black image of a man serving a ball’- was a reflection of how the brand has evolved into a wider event.

The brand repositioning program took 12 months and was developed in partnership with branding agency, Landor Australia. The brief was to enhance Australia’s premier sporting event as an entertainment brand that connects with new audiences and creates a world of tennis around them.

“The Serving Man brand mark didn’t really represent what the tournament and what the event has now become,” Juler told CMO. “We have over 700,00 people coming, of which tennis is an anchor, but a lot of people just come for the atmosphere that is the event, the music and the lovely vibe.”

Juler said the older logo also didn’t translate well on digital platforms. “It was quite a difficult brand mark, being orange in a box,” she said. “We just wanted something that was very simple, really agile and flexible, that we could then use on all of our digital platforms.”

During the last Australian Open, Tennis Australia installed new digital screens and digital walls into all of its arenas. “We have gone very digital in terms of our approach, so it was time to upgrade the brand mark to make sure it is reflecting what the tournament now was,” Juler said.

The time to rebrand was also significant given its audience is so digital savvy and on a host of digital platforms, particularly the 18-55 age group.

“This allows us to have a lot more fun and be able to express a lot more about the attitude of the event through our digital advertising,” Juler said, adding that this year’s digital spend has increased by about 20 per cent.

The marketing strategy behind the rebrand was about conveying the message of playfulness.

“We are a premium event, but we have a really playful nature about everything that we do and we have a lot of fun,” Juler continued. “It is an event the players have dubbed ‘the happy slam,’ because it’s iconic and very Australian. Everything we do with our brand, our look, or our activations has to be premium because it’s Grand Slam, but it’s about bringing that playful nature, that Australianism into everything we do.”

Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley agreed, saying the rebrand is giving the organisation the flexibility to engage more deeply with fans, partners and players.

“The Australian Open is renowned as one of the most innovative sports and entertainment events in the world. To ensure we optimise the many new media opportunities available now and in the future, we also needed to evolve our look and feel, make it more relevant globally and more adaptable in an increasingly digital world,” Tiley said.

As part of the rebrand, Tennis Australia is using new shapes and colours on its Facebook page, and Juler cited the example of a Novac Djokovic image. Further features will be added to the AO website in the coming week. The activity is part of the “plan your summer” campaign where fans can go through and choose the session they want to buy and see the best moments on that day from past Australian Open tournaments, all in new colours, she added.

“We are going to be really bringing this to life - and we have a lot of ideas around the A and the O to bring it to life with the fans," she said.

“Affectionately, the fans have always called us the AO. And we are working with smaller platforms than ever before in terms of people buying their tickets online. So it is really important you have a really simple, easy logo that is really recognisable. We are still the Australian Open, but you will see a lot more of the AO in our marketing.”

Asked how far the branding will extend, Juler said every asset of the Australian Open will feature the new brand mark, extending globally. “The Australian Open is such a huge global business now - it is no longer just an event in Australia. We have a huge global audience.”

Looking back over the history of Tennis Australia, Juler said it is a pivotal time for the organisation.

“This is a big event for Australia. And it is getting bigger - the government has invested a lot of money. Our footprint is a lot bigger,” she said.

“It’s time the brand really kept pace with where the event is today. We sit on the world stage with three other Grand Slams so we take the responsibility very seriously. It isn’t just about wanting to change a logo, it is all about what the fans want - it’s an experience for the fans and we’re creating more engagement.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in