Winning big for water sports.
When FINA (the Fédération Internationale de Natation), the governing body for aquatic sports, approached The Martin Group, they sought to evolve their brand in a way that would represent their comprehensive mission, engage world-class athletes, and attract dynamic sponsors. Their rebrand needed to spark a digital transformation for the organization and usher in a new era of mobile connectivity—all while creating a unifying moment for aquatic sports around the world.
Our team deployed The Martin Group’s Brand Fuel process, including a phased approach of Research & Discovery, Strategy, Creative Concepting & Brand Development, and Execution. Throughout, we utilized 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 on the ground at the Budapest World Championships, we conducted research, engaged with stakeholders, and assessed the visual representation of the brand at the world-class event, all of which ultimately informed our strategic recommendations for the rebrand.
Our work led us to a moment of true transformation: rebranding FINA as World Aquatics. In addition to the organization’s new name, our creative process yielded a new logo, tagline, brand elements, and robust branding guidelines, which included 6 sport icons and 209 custom federation icons. We also developed an integrated plan to support the brand launch at the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia—a unifying moment for aquatic sports globally that was fully embraced. Hosted at The Lume, Melbourne, the launch required custom video content to build excitement and take advantage of the one-of-a-kind space. To make the most of the momentum of this important evolution, we created a number of videos that told a cohesive story, including one honoring FINA’s 114-year legacy and milestones, a hype video revealing the new name and brand, and a final video explaining the logo and brand elements in a compelling, exciting way.
With 87.8M impressions achieved around the world and unanimously positive feedback from the federations making up World Aquatics, the launch was a success for key external and internal audiences