SBJ/March 19 - 25, 2007/This Weeks News

New logos to brand Olympic Trials

As part of its strategy to tie itself more closely to U.S. national governing bodies, the U.S. Olympic Committee has created the first uniform logo to brand all U.S. Olympic Trials.

The U.S. Olympic Committee wants a better
connection with national governing bodies.

Traditionally, national governing bodies have licensed out the right to run their respective U.S. Olympic Trials from the USOC and created their own logos for those events. Now, all the NGBs will use a similar logo that incorporates the USA five-ring mark, adding only their name and a pictogram to identify their sport.

“We think this is a way we can inject some of the value we enjoy into the Olympic properties,” said Jim Grice, USOC chief marketing officer. “We have had the USA five-ring as part of that mark in the past, but one of the ways we think we can create a stronger connection with the NGBs is to create this common thread between all of them.”

The logo, which was designed by SME Branding, blends the USOC’s historical coloring of deep red and blue with retro lettering, the year, and the USA five-ring image. The centerpiece is a star whose right arm mimics the iconic, twisting torch used by the entire Olympic movement.

The 31 U.S. Olympic Trials can personalize the logo by adding pictogram icons of, for example, a competitor swimming or cycling and the name of the respective competition.

Dan Price, CEO at Adrenalin, a Denver-based branding firm that has worked with the USOC in the past, said the logo’s retro style should appeal to younger audiences, while the concept of using a single logo for all the trials should strengthen the brand.

“That’s a great way to create a sub-brand for the Olympics, which is a great move,” Price said.

According to the USOC, the star is designed with the hope that it will carry Olympic significance without using the word Olympic or the five-ring mark, both of which are the property of the USOC. As a result, NGB sponsors who aren’t members of the USOC sponsor family will be able to activate outside of trial venues by using the star to associate itself with the NGB.

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