"Harness Racing is a sporting experience with a long tradition and like many sports, has to redefine and recreate its brand to remain viable and desirable"
Harness Racing presents a uniquely nostalgic brand image that can be honed in on and explored.
ØLSEN PALMER wanted to explore this idea of nostalgia and harness racing creating a conceptual rebrand for the Tabcorp Park, Menangle Venue.
Harness Racing as a Brand
Harness Racing is a complex brand of over-layering, made even more complicated by terminologies only understood by those within the industry.
Working on the brand, ØLSEN PALMER looked at the general sphere of Harness Racing and discovered the nostalgic nature of the sport. Running with this idea, the brand was broken down even further.
"...create physical objects to communicate brand values..."
What the brand needs
The key elements that ØLSEN PALMER focused on for the brand vision included:
- The clarity to the Market
- Celebrate the Experience
- Social Acceptance
- Creation of an Identity
- Make the Experience Desirable
- Forward-thinking concepts
The Brand Experience Created
To evoke an emotional connection, first and foremost the venues have to create an experience.
The brand needs to be elevated beyond just being about the harness and the horse and away from just being about gambling. The social experiences being created are largely what makes people attend and return to the venues.
The nostalgic, elegant and sophisticated experiences embrace old and new, past and present, and take the brand into the future.
Along with the various venues within the site, to develop a holistic experience, attention to finer details such as the food, wines and coffee have to be explored.
ØLSEN PALMER believes great hospitality is the basis of a memorable experience. The idea coffee makes the world go round - the strongest movement in food internationally is something that could be capitalised upon within the experiences being created. In conjunction with great design, this helps to bring the idea of nostalgia to the forefront of the brand experience.
"...the facilities and experiences on offer cannot just be functional..."
How to deliver the Brand
"...Not every idea can be delivered at once, but this also creates an opportunity. Being
able to deliver a staged approach to the launch of newly refurbished areas and
progressively deliver more and more social experiences to the public is a great
position to be in. Develop a strong brand image and explore this through the interior
concepts and experiences being created by them..."
Logistically, a rebrand takes time and coordination. Having an understanding of what elements will be more timely and costly allows for a more in-depth and realistic plan to be formed.
Starting with the arrival experience and lobby, we can understand that streetscapes take time to develop up and pass through council, therefore structural elements like this are taken into consideration at the beginning of a rebrand to get the initial ball rolling.
Moving into the arrival experience of the Museum and Undercroft, and then onto the Winners and Members Lounge, helps to allow for brand consistency throughout the venue from outside to inside.
The next stage involves the variety of bars and restaurants on offer, with the goal of helping to create unique experiences within each of these.
The final stage is to consider the event spaces and develop a strategy. The type of experiences to be hosted within them and the nature of events being considered here are as important as the permanent spaces on offer. This will ensure ongoing adaptability and diversity.