Athletics group rolls out new brand strategy

Athletics governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations is rolling out a new brand strategy created by Whitestone International.

In an attempt to raise the popularity of athletics events with consumers, and improve sponsor opportunities, sports branding specialist Whitestone has recommended that the IAAF implements a raft of structural changes.

‘Over the years, athletics has been overtaken by a series of other sports brands which are making sure that they are properly engaged and structured,’ says Whitestone chief executive Chris Lightfoot.

‘But for athletics, TV ratings declined and the sport has become less and less popular with younger generations,’ he says. Whitestone hopes that the new structure will allow the IAAF to attract viewers and sponsors by creating ‘glamour and rivalries’ within athletics.

Whitestone has attempted to simplify the ‘complex, organic’ structure of the IAAF, by organising its activities into corporate, development and sports events and seeking to imbue it with ‘leadership, modernity and integrity’.

Lightfoot says, ‘Funding a sport is a very big operation nowadays, so the world governing body of athletics has a significant role in locating funding for, and nurturing, its sport’.

Whitestone has been producing the brand strategy over the past 18 months. Leeds-based group Works has also refreshed the IAAF identity (pictured), unveiled last week.

Lightfoot claims there will be a ‘continued programme of activity to drive and support the sport’, but declines to confirm or detail any new marketing strategies to promote athletics to consumers.

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