Starting with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Eurosport will hold the European television rights for the Olympic Games for the next 8 years after securing a €1.3bn/£922m/US$1.2bn deal with the International Olympic Committee. Owned by Discovery Communications, Eurosport will work to sublicense deals with public broadcasters in most European countries while committing to broadcast a minimum of 200 hours on free-to-air television. Positioning Eurosport as the “Home of the Olympics” is a new identity and on-air look designed by London-based DixonBaxi.
Standing on the podium at the Olympics is the ultimate dream for any athlete. A moment of national pride, where sacrifice becomes glory and legends are made. ‘The Podium’ is the foundation for the brand experience across every touchpoint. The design uses the iconic three tiers as a simple visual metaphor that can be used in hundreds of ways. Layers of vibrant colour, inspired by Olympic venues, and an expressive, bespoke typeface - called Eurosport 3, 5, and 7 [by A2-Type] - create a flexible and distinctive graphic style that is inspired by ultimate ambition of elite athletes to be the best.
The podium concept may seem like an obvious premise but it’s a reference point we haven’t yet seen from anything Olympics-related and given that the IOC doesn’t allow anyone to mess with the rings, torch, or medals, finding new ways to visually say Olympics is not easy. Taking the podium as a starting point is quite clever and, surprisingly, lends itself to some excellent graphic interpretations. In the logo, though it may not be entirely evident that it’s a podium given that the bronze level is at the same level as silver, which I understand that symmetrically-speaking makes sense and looks more balanced in a logo but it misses to go the full monty on the concept. I’m sure it was a high point of contention in the design process internally and with the clients. Still, the three bars make for a nice visual bridge between the Eurosport logo and the Olympic icons, both of which are the key elements that need to be communicated.
Along with a sturdy custom type family, the identity makes great use of vertical banding that brings to life the podium concept. In motion, the upwards trajectory of the graphics makes it feel uplifting and optimistic — making it rain upside down with smooth motion behavior and nicely presenting all kinds of information. In static applications, the layouts feel almost grid-less, in a Studio Dumbar-esque way that, even if they look fairly straightforward, it’s a big graphic leap for an identity representing two major brands — Eurosport and the Olympics.
The new brand launched with the campaign ‘Millions of Journeys, One Destination’ (developed by Iris Worldwide). Perfectly combining the gritty art direction and distinctive podium design language to celebrate the sacrifice athlete’s make just to compete in next Olympic games in Pyeongchang 2018.
Overall, this has a great energy and a very pleasing flat aesthetic that, for us Americans — stuck with NBC’s gradient/shiny/3D-esque graphics — is an elusive pursuit.