Homeground Stadium Branding

Kardinia Park is a Geelong icon, steeped in history and visible from most of the surrounding area. Kardinia Park Stadium Trust manages and operates the precinct's principal asset – GMHBA Stadium – on behalf of the people of Victoria.

– Brand Strategy
– Identity Design
– Environmental Design

Challenge

Despite its varied and lengthy history reaching back to 1872, Kardinia Park Stadium was suffering from an identity crisis. Five separate naming rights sales since 1999 had left the community unsure of who was responsible for the management and operation of the facilities. Enquiries were as likely to be directed to the name rights holders GMHBA Health Insurance as they were to be directed to the Geelong Cats Football Club.

Working with a complex stakeholder group and network of precinct partners, the Trust was pitching for major redevelopment funding and had reached a point at which they had to consider the stadium's future. Additionally, they had a mandate to extend the life of the stadium for use beyond football or cricket matches.

The Trust was looking for an agency to assess and evaluate its brand strategy. Fluid Branding would have to deliver a new brand story that would help achieve its mission of overseeing the stadium and optimising the economic and liveability benefits to the advantage of the community.

Solution

Fluid developed a brand strategy and visual language that redefined the Trust's audiences, considered the complex brand architecture and the focus of the internal communications and marketing team.

Audience segmentations were created that defined the issues of global music and event promoters, sports brand managers and equally community event organisers. The approach helped define how the team could approach each persona with an offer that would be more appealing and help realise the benefits of the stadium for that audience. The stadium was a place that everyone should be able to call home for a day. The local community, visiting teams' fans, community organisers, team representatives, promoters, bands and their managers, all had to feel ownership of the stadium for the day.

With the phrase 'Make Yourself At Home' at the heart of the brand's identity, Fluid developed a logo, visual language and messaging system that helped the brand stand out when required but also partner with event brands. Modular graphic elements allowed sports and event brands to become the stars of the show, with Kardinia Park becoming a supportive brand platform for them.

Outcome

The new perspective helped realign the Trust around how it could best serve the local community in attracting world-class sports, cultural and entertainment events to use the stadium.

Just as Kardinia Park Stadium Trust was completing its repositioning, the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down sporting events across the globe for up to 16 months. In the aftermath of the havoc wrought by the virus, the Victorian State Government announced that they would be proceeding with planned infrastructure upgrades. $142 million was designated for new professional standard unisex change rooms, a new northern entry plaza, sports museum, function room and a suite of technology upgrades including high-speed public wi-fi and LED signage.

Additionally in 2022, Kardinia Park was host to global superstars the Foo Fighters, the realisation of a strategic realignment of their offer to global music promoters.

Deliverables

– Brand Strategy
– Identity Design
– Environmental Design

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