Earlier this summer Sport for Business ran a competition with Atomic Sport and Eamon Hall Design to win a rebrand for a sporting organisation or event.

The competition was strong and after much deliberation on the part of an expert judging panel drawn from across our membership, the winner was selected as Volleyball Ireland.

Atomic Sport have previously rebranded many of Ireland’s leading national governing bodies including Horse Racing Ireland, Sport Ireland and Swim Ireland, as well as Quest Adventure Series, Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry amongst many others.

We caught up with Patrick Murphy of Atomic Sport and Gary Stewart of Volleyball Ireland to see how the process was going.

SfB: How has the project developed since Volleyball was selected as the winner?

PM: Rebranding rarely involves a simple amendment to an existing visual identity, so we are essentially creating a new visual identity from scratch.

Doing this requires a methodology and a structure which ensures agency and client are working together, engaging stakeholders and working to shared objectives.

The process we apply involves five stages from Diagnostic through Strategic recommendation, Moodboards, the creative solution and the Launch of a new identity.

To date, we have completed the first three stages of the project process, and are currently working on the creative solution for the updated brand.

SfB: What have you discovered about Volleyball that has helped shape your work?

PM: Atomic has worked across many sports and sporting events over the last eight or nine years, but this project represents our first involvement with the sport of volleyball.

Understanding the key selling points, the participants, the intricacies and the language of the sport are vital in the development of a brand identity that supports and promotes that sport.

Volleyball is a truly equal sport with participation rates amongst men and women usually split right down the middle, with the number of female players often exceeding male players.

It is the fourth most popular sport in the world by participation numbers, reported to be in the region of 900 million players.

Over 70 per cent of adult participants in volleyball in Ireland have relocated here from over 60 different countries, representing the welcoming nature and the inclusivity of the sport.

There are over 900 schools participating in the sport, which follows through into a vibrant third level scene.

We found that the ‘huddle’ in volleyball is unique to the sport, and represents the social and supportive nature of the game.

Out of left field, we also discovered there is a mini-league of Mongolian volleyball teams that play regularly in Dublin.

These learnings and others garnered from our research, have all been considered and debated with the project team at Volleyball Ireland to ensure that they are represented in the new Volleyball Ireland brand.

It’s been a really interesting project, getting under the skin of volleyball and the opportunity for the sport in Ireland. The team at Volleyball Ireland have displayed real ambition to deliver an impactful new brand identity, and we’re really looking forward to getting their new brand live and in-market before the end of the month.

SfB: From a Volleyball Ireland perspective how valuable has the win been?

GS: The rebranding project has been a massive win for Volleyball Ireland.

Beyond the new brand that is being created, the process has made us consider our approach to promoting the sport, and I think we now have a much clearer sense of the strategic priorities for growing the sport in Ireland.

Learn More

To access a pre-recorded webinar on the progress of the project to date, please e-mail us today quoting Volleyball Project in the subject line.

We will have all the details of the new brand later this month.  Such was the popularity of the competition among Sport for Business members that we plan to do it again next year so watch this space.