|New branding signals new goals for the AIHL
If you have visited the AIHL’s social media channels, you would have seen the AIHL has a new logo.
Throughout the off-season, the AIHL has been working with Canberra-based communications agency Coordinate to update and re-imagine the AIHL brand.
Under the slogan ‘Fast, Fierce, Full-on’, the new brand will take the AIHL into the next generation as the growth and development of the game in Australia continues at a rapid rate.
As the premier ice hockey brand in Australia, the new logo is designed to represent the speed, aggression and strength associated with the sport.
It combines the Australian Commonwealth Star (more commonly known as the ‘Seven Point Star’) and the blade of the hockey stick.
The angle of the logo also suggests the gesture of a stick tap against the ice which, for those that don’t know, is a congratulatory gesture; a sign of respect and/or encouragement.
Coordinate director Warren Apps said that the process of developing the new branding began at the end of last season.
“Season 2014 was a successful one for the league both on and off the ice and there was a collective sense that the time was right for the AIHL to consider a longer term brand strategy which would support its growth aspirations over the medium term and become a strong platform for communicating our strengths,” Apps said.
“Obviously, the logo is an important part of that, and over time, will grow to become a strong symbol of all that the league represents. The design elements that sit around the brand have also been designed to reflect the speed and movement of gameplay – something we identified as a unique attribute of the game and something which Australian sporting audiences are naturally attracted to.
“We also developed a positioning line – ‘Fast, Fierce, Full-on’. Ice hockey is the fastest team sport in the world and research amongst new fans reveals that it is a combination of the speed of game play, the level of skill on show and the uniqueness of the experience that combine as key drivers for new audiences. Our product is also seen by audiences as a unique mix of sport and entertainment so our brand should reflect this.”
From the initial brief to the first designs, it was took around four weeks. However, it wasn’t without its difficulties.
“Like any brand development project, there were challenges,” Apps said. “In this instance, we needed to recognise that ice hockey is a developing sport in Australia so the brand needed to be aspirational if it was going to help lift us to the next level. At the same time, we need to be mindful that we are working with a sport that has huge growth potential but limited widespread awareness so at a brand level we need to isolate and communicate our key proposition very clearly and in a way that it is easy to repeat.”
With such huge growth over the past few years, Apps hopes the league will prosper in Australia with the new branding direction.
“Brands take time to develop and grow – often over many years,” Apps said. “But if the appropriate investment is made in driving brand equity they can grow to become very strong symbols of all that they represent – often helping organisations transform from within. Our hope is that the new brand helps to accelerate the increasing level of professionalism we now see in the league and that this drives new audiences to our product, attracts more juniors to our sport and continues to increase our appeal to recruits from around the world.”