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Special Olympics Australia 2011 REBRAND 100 > merit

Enterprise Rebrand
Country Base: Australia
Industry/Sector: Institutions, Non Profits, Foundations, Sports, Entertainment, Government
Below: Before and After Images in Slide Show, Summary, Credits

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Industry Setting
Special Olympics are a global not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to transform the lives of people with an intellectual disability through sport. Each week in Australia, dedicated volunteers provide quality sports training to almost 4000 athletes in over 250 sports clubs across the country. Those who participate in Special Olympics improve their fitness, develop greater self-confidence, and grow socially and spiritually.

There are still widespread misconceptions and stereotypes about people with an intellectual disability. They are often denied opportunities to explore their potential because it is assumed that their capabilities are limited.

Although Special Olympics Australia is intended to be positioned as a way to support people with an intellectual disability through sport, external perceptions are very different from ‘on the ground’ operations.

A majority of these misconceptions are as a result of the organisations name – the use of the word ‘Olympics’, while an overwhelmingly positive association, implies that it is solely an elite event occurring every four years. While the word ‘Special’ has many negative associations, which contribute to the segregation of people with an intellectual disability.

In order to create a brand which breaks through common stereotypes and empowers people with an intellectual disability, the brand promise of ‘Reach your personal best’ was developed. This positioning became a vital building block for the articulation and expression of the brand, allowing the individual and unique stories of Special Olympics Athletes to come to the forefront in order to further break down audience stereotypes.

A series of affirmation prompts were also developed to create a motivating language across communication items. They were created to increase brand awareness and encourage participation across all audiences – a way for everyone to express who they are and who they want to be.

Overall, the new positioning created an exceptionally strong platform, which all audiences could engage with. The ‘Reach your personal best’ positioning provided new business opportunities in the areas of fund-raising, volunteer recruitment, and corporate social responsibility partnerships.


Client: Special Olympics Australia -

Brand Strategists/Designers: Doppio Design -
Creative Director: Mauro Bertolini
Designers: Amber Kadwell and Ali Ozden
Creative Services Manager: Rachel Gavin
Account Service Director: Melissa Bertolini


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