Inspired by the blue line legacy of the Sydney Olympic Games Marathon, Mana Group’s 360 Sport and Entertainment arm has successfully delivered a complete rebrand and execution of an extraordinary look and feel program for the Sydney Marathon.
As an Abbott World Marathon Major Candidate Event, all eyes of the international running world are on Sydney. With record participation in 2023 the event is in its second year of candidacy to join the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon and New York City Marathon among the holy grail of marathon events – the Abbott World Marathon Majors.
Over the course of 18 months we worked with event operators, Pont3 and stakeholders including the NSW Government, Athletics Australia and major sponsors including asics and Porsche to create a visually striking look for the event that cements Sydney’s status on the global stage.
The new Sydney Marathon brand was unveiled in late 2022 and has become an instantly iconic brand mark. The mark ideation explored Sydney’s past representations through legacy events such as the Sydney Olympics and whether these representations were reflective of modern-day Sydney. In development of the marks and event colour palette, we have drawn on the colours of Sydney’s art and cultural scenes – doing away with old stereotypes and harmonizing with Sydney’s energy as a vibrant, modern city.
The primary blue colour pallette celebrates the iconic colours that symbolise the major sporting teams of the host state, New South Wales, to be uniquely patriotic and aligned to the host destination, as well as pay homage to the blue line that was famously laid down on the streets of Sydney for the Sydney 2000 marathon course.
To elevate Sydney’s event presentation we developed a comprehensive look and feel program across all visual assets of the Sydney Marathon. The program created a clean, bold and compelling look for the event that brought the brand to life and delivered a premium experience for participants and stakeholders alike.
As a hallmark event for the city of Sydney the look and feel program extended from civic branding to participant consumables. The scope included a takeover of Sydney CBD banner branding, Sydney International Airport arrivals terminal activations, the event wayfinding program, official hotel branding, VIP Hospitality structures, accreditation, broadcast content, live sites on course, custom feature course and KM markers, podiums and ceremony structures, digital assets, on-course branding, course structures, medals, finisher shirts, and champions trophies along with the incredible whole of venue and expo fit out for the Sydney Running Show.
The feature start and finish precincts were an extraordinary showcase of world-class event presentation that highlighted Sydney’s incredible natural features and iconic buildings. Significant LED installation in both precincts elevated the experience. The finish line at the Sydney Opera House forecourt was transformed into a remarkable finish line featuring a 10m wide LED structure, LED panels and a uniform sponsor content animation package that delivered strong cut through and elevated brand presentation for all partners.
As the Sydney Marathon enters its third (and potential final year) of Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidacy, we will continue to elevate the delivery of the brand and look and feel program and play our part in bringing a World Marathon Major to Sydney.