Redefining an Established Sporting Goods Brand
After 30+ years of sporting innovation and technological instigation, McDavid was primed to grow. Their brand had grown stale and needed to be repositioned in the market.
A reimagined brand with meaningful foundations, aggressive visuals, and impactful messaging that attracts their new target audience: teenage athletes. This updated brand and mindset would then spread across every aspect of McDavid’s operation.
The Need: To target a new customer.
When we were introduced to McDavid, their brand was focused on providing products that helped individuals maintain a high level of performance into their older years. The primary audience was aging male athletes that wanted to extend their athletic longevity. Many in the company referred to their products as “your dad’s workout gear”. The market perceived McDavid as a comfortable and functional brand. With evolving customer expectations, the brand and company needed to change.
Understanding McDavid’s Current Brand Before Building a New One
Strength: Product Quality
Research and Development was a major focus of McDavid’s strategy before this branding initiative. Creating the best product on the market allowed them to maintain sales over the decades. With ambitions to grow, they needed more than amazing products to drive change.
Opportunity: Brand Recognition
The logo mark was not recognizable by many. It was found to be impropriety and uniconic. Color was a major weakness for the brand. Without an identifiable brand color, the product was being looked over. The color system was inconsistent and difficult to understand for most customers.
The Strategy: Pivoting the Purpose
Changing the visual look of a company is one thing, changing the mindset of a company is another. With McDavid’s repositioning came the impactful opportunity to overhaul the foundations of their company. Out of this rebrand came the new company-wide purpose: To Create A World Of Personal Bests.
Athletes all have their own goals and aspirations. Not every athlete is a 5-star recruit. McDavid classifies athletes as the ones who get up every morning to work towards personal improvement. Whether that is walking an extra mile on the treadmill or breaking world records, McDavid is now focused on helping individuals achieve their personal best.
The new McDavid brand needed to celebrate personal bests and exude the confidence of self improvement. That means having a brand that feels active, hardworking, and youthful.
30 Years New - Reimagining McDavid In A Youthful Light
Iconic New Identity
The key piece of this rebrand was McDavid’s visual identity. Taking inspiration from their original "threx" symbol. The new mark was evolved into a elongated hexagonal 'M' mark, which can stand on its own without typographic support and unlike its predecessor or anything else on the market. It is iconic enough to be recognizable from afar.
A huge part of McDavid’s success is due to its consumer-focused voice. All materials are infused with brand “mojo” and relatable people-speak. The tagline “First On. Last Off.” shows off how McDavid has been written with layers of meaning—in this case, combining inspirational ‘tenacity’ and a tie to the product’s usage (as the first thing an athlete puts on and the last thing they take off).
Passionate Color Takeover
McDavid’s main competitor Shock Doctor owned the color orange. While the re-energized brand would have to be distinct, it would also utilize a passionate, aggressive color to identify itself. Red spoke to the consumer’s desire to achieve more and earn praise for hard work.
McDavid Now Stands For
Impactful Branding Led To Impactful Results
Post rebrand, McDavid overtook their primary competitor to lead the Sports Med market. This noticeable market success and newfound brand recognition led to a double digit product sales increase and McDavid’s lucrative acquisition by United Sports Brands.