For many places on the globe, water serves as an obstacle, one that separates locations or divides the masses from their daily endeavors.
But this is a glass-is-half-empty way of looking at the resource. Another is to recognize water as the great unifier, a giver of health and wellness to all, one that can merge our worlds, no matter how disparate. From this lens, water can be the tie that binds.
So when FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) approached The Martin Group, the sole governing body for global aquatic sports sought to recast their organization—comprised of 209 National Member Federations across five continents—within this coalescing perspective. They wanted to evolve their brand in a way that would represent their comprehensive mission, engage world-class athletes, and attract dynamic sponsors. Additionally, they aimed to leverage their rebrand to spark a digital transformation for the organization to join a new era of mobile connectivity, all while creating a rallying moment for aquatic athletes, events, and enthusiasm around the world.
Water unites us. Aquatic sports should do the same.
To convey this truth, our team started by deploying The Martin Group’s Brand Fuel process, including a phased approach of research and discovery, strategy, creative concepting and brand development, and execution, utilized through various face-to-face, virtual, and online approaches, accommodating multiple time zones, languages, and athlete and partner protocols.
Our team also facilitated multiple top-level leadership meetings, each requiring a delicate balance of diplomacy and advocacy to frame the case for making a significant name and identity change to a historically change-averse federation. Immersing ourselves in the 2022 Budapest World Championships, we conducted research, engaged with stakeholders, and assessed the visual representation of the brand at a world-class event, all of which ultimately informed our strategic recommendations for the rebrand.
This extensive work resulted in FINA being rebranded as World Aquatics, an athlete-focused organization that envisions a world unified by water, for health, life, and sport. Through The Martin Group’s strategic development, we created a new logo, tagline, brand elements, and branding guidelines, which included six (6) sport icons and 209 custom federation icons. We also developed an integrated plan to support the official brand launch at the 2022 Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia, as well as supporting video to communicate its refreshed trajectory.
“This entire brand hits the mark and was built from the ground up,” says Tod Martin, Chairman and CEO of The Martin Group. “A deep understanding of the rich and celebrated history of FINA was foundational to the outcome. A well-defined strategy led the entire process, pointing us towards success. There is energy and movement and a story here that truly reflect the unwavering commitment to every discipline, athlete, and constituent alike; and the multi-functional identity package can flex and lead the organization forward for years to come.”
While the launch was a galvanizing moment for global aquatics, it also repositioned the sport’s leader into its rightful place for the present and future. World Aquatics is a guiding force of athletes in swimming, water polo, diving, and more. With a refined mission and image for the next generation, the organization is better equipped to ensure the ability to participate, compete in, and benefit from aquatic sports to all interested parties.
And thanks to our determined team, its brand is now emblematic of the unifying resource at the heart of its operation.
To learn more about the mission of World Aquatics, https://www.fina.org/about