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& Rugby League World Cup 2021

Concept strategy and creative direction for the Rugby League World Cup 2021

 

After a successful application we were invited to pitch our ideas for the creative direction and campaign surrounding the Rugby League World Cup, due to take place in the north of England in 2021.

Over the course of just 12 days we developed a creative direction and visual language for the tournament that covered an extensive range of print and digital applications.

The existing branding had grown tired. It was restrictive in digital and broadcast graphics, and didn’t reflect the diversity of the organisations offer – incorporating 3x tournaments; Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair.

 

With the aim to engage new, younger and more diverse audiences, and reflect what makes the game unique, we set about creating a strategy and visual direction for the brand which expressed the raw power and drama of League, as well as reflecting it’s historical roots in the North of England.

In a cross-agency effort, we worked with Bristol-based brand agency, Halo on creating a brand strategy defined by four brand pillars; Inclusivity, Industry, Impact and Simplicity.

With a central concept of ‘The Power & the Glory’, we set out to show Rugby League as a spectacle of gladiatorial combat – a game of fast pace and high impact, but that’s that’s also easy to follow, easy to understand, and ultimately easy to love.

The original logo included a trophy symbol which derived from the Men’s tournament trophy but overlooked the Women’s and Wheelchair Tournaments.

Our aim was to create a more universal mark that felt inclusive and modern; would lend itself well to digital applications, whilst conveying a sense of movement and energy in static formats.

Mud, Sweat and Tears

 

In order to show the sheer power, attrition and impact of the game, we developed a photographic style and treatment that used gritty textures and mark making to emphasis moments of impact.

And, with its roots in early enamel signage and street nameplates, we used the typeface Enamela to add an angular, industrial quality to the identity and reference the industrial heritage of the North.

Messaging with impact

 

We developed a tone of voice for the brand that is just as punchy as the visuals. Utilising short, snappy, attention-grabbing copy lines that referenced the gladiatorial spectacle of the game, as well as using colloquialism’s of the North.

Speaking to a digital audience

 

With an ambition is to be the most digitally connected sports entertainment event in 2021, the visual language had to be responsive and adaptable across a variety of digital platforms, including social platforms and broadcast graphics.

We collaborated with motion and design studio, Fakery to help bring the brand to life in 3D and motion graphics.