Odd But Effective; Elegant Branding for Sporting Events

Branding sporting events is challenging yet rewarding. The tone should reflect the company that's sponsoring the event as well as the athleticism on display.  For the Netsuite Open, an annual squash tournament that takes place in San Francisco, we chose to lay the groundwork for a brand that will endure. This approach involved creating images that would instill both a sense of nostalgia and excitement in the attendees.  

The NetSuite Open is a stable of events of this nature, produced by Event Engine based in Boston, MA. Event Engine also produces the squash tour’s iconic annual Tournament of Champions in Grand Central Terminal, NYC and Showdown at Symphony Hall in Boston. The company is owned and managed by US Squash Hall of Fame member John Nimick. We wanted our designs to reflect the elegance apparent in the sport, the tournament, and its backers.

Squash is a high velocity sport that requires precision and speed, so we decided to reflect this in the event materials.

We had the opportunity to showcase our design strategy in numerous collateral materials including tickets, folders, invitations and printed ads. Seen above, the event materials display our design strategy of creating a sense of brand endurance, while also emphasizing the modern grace of the athletes and the tournament. To achieve this, we utilized beautiful black and white photographs placed on strong monochromatic backgrounds.

Below you can see the invitation to the reception, which utilizes our original color design (seen above), but with a reverse ordering of a black and white background image with focus on the prominent, brightly-colored monochromatic font.  

To create our design strategy we also looked at the sport itself. What aspects of the sport made it challenging? Essentially, what made the sport so enthralling? We decided that the motion of the athletes was one of the most critical pillars of its appeal. Squash is a high velocity sport that requires precision and speed, so we decided to reflect this in the event materials as well. This can be seen in the stances of the athletes in the pictures, either in mid-swing or poised to spring into action.

The sponsor was impressed with our strategy, which is why we are proud to announce that NetSuite Open 2017 will again be branded by our team. In addition to creating a strong relationship with a great client, our work was also seen by a large audience. The tournament received extensive coverage across global media: CBS, The Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times all covered the event.

If you'd like to get a closer look at this year's event, you can see pictures and news on their website. If you have a similar event and would like DBC to get in touch with you, you can contact us through the form below.