Nurturing grass roots and greatness
Cross-country skiing is a 5,000 year-old sport that originated with the Vikings as a form of transportation. Despite our climate, the sport was only introduced to Canada in the late 1800’s. Today, over two-million Canadians cross-country ski. And, we are regarded as one of the top Nordic sport nations in the world.
Canada is a Winter Olympics powerhouse. As a result, there is great pressure to get athletes and para-athletes on the podium now. This requires an investment in high performance athletes as well as thriving grass roots. Sports must engage people from the playground all the way to the podium. Cross Country Ski de fond Canada hired Taiji to guide them through a branding process that could inspire all Canadians to come together and be part of something bigger.
We engaged over a thousand members, stakeholders, athletes and participants online, at workshops and in focus groups. Based on widespread input, we crafted a brand blueprint to ensure that the sport development strategy was clear and accessible to all. We created a compelling brand narrative and mantra. We recommended a succinct, inclusive and language-neutral name: Nordiq Canada. We replaced the busy, dated logo with a sleek visual metaphor of skis coming together within the maple leaf. We created a photo and video bank that celebrates skiers of all types and abilities. And, we’re now developing a robust new bilingual website and marketing campaign to launch the brand.
“Sometimes it’s hard to think that an image or a message is actually going to grow a sport. But I think this process has been important because it’s asked the questions: Who are we? What do we want to be? What is important to our community? It’s the first step in saying: This is who we are as a Nordic nation. And we’re proud of who we are.”
Brand Image Bank
Sport organizations generally have lots of images of high performance athletes but very few that celebrate grassroots participation. We’re growing an image and video library that shows everyday Canadians everywhere on skis.