From hot air balloon adventures to health clubs and marathon runs, Virgin have long associated themselves with an active lifestyle.
So, it may come as no surprise, that Virgin Sport was dreamt up on the go. Sir Richard and Co-Founder Freddie Andrewes were cycling through South Africa, when the epiphany struck to build a movement that combines the sweat of sport with the swagger of Virgin. And bring people together for a whole lot of fun along the way. They immediately purchased an existing business operating 13 races across the UK with the ambition to challenge the market with a more inclusive, personalised, shareable experience and to build a loyal and highly engaged community around it.
The challenge for Glow was to build an entirely new brand and take the mass participation sport industry by storm; including positioning, naming, end-to-end customer experience, web/e-commerce platform, CRM system and marketing plan.
Where we landed was a business called Virgin Sport, creating experiences that celebrate the all-in life with a mix of fearlessness and fun. Our positioning was all about the good times and the fast times. Where sport is something we not only endure, but adore. Where sport is challenging, and possible. For all of us, together.
We helped lead the team at Virgin group to develop the entire proposition.
This ten month journey started with the brand and ended with race day experience, working in three phases.
- Immersion involving competitor research, cross functional working groups and stakeholder workshops from both the existing and new businesses
- We built an exciting positioning including vision, mission and values
- We used this proposition to act as a lens for our decision making across the project
The next job was to actually create the brand:
- We ran a naming process to help stakeholders decide on the appropriate one. Interestingly, we weren’t advocators of the name Virgin Sport but they were so that was where we landed. A name is a big part of a brand of course, but real brands are so much more than a name.
- We then developed an entirely new look and feel; logo, colours, brand mechanic etc
- We developed the full brand bible covering brand identity, tone of voice, values, brand behaviours, style of service, target audience etc
Then we started bringing it all to life:
- We defined the cyclical customer journey from dreaming to post-race recovery with dramatic moments of grip and shareability
- Worked shoulder-to-shoulder with AKQA on the construction of an entirely new website, CRM and e-commerce platform
- Created a rich partnership, marketing strategy and content strategy to bring the journey and the brand to life
“Working with Glow gave us direction, clarity and a clear lens from which to build our entire business. The brand bible we developed was world class. Every time Emma walked in the room I found myself clapping!”
Patrick Alo, former Global Head of Brand, Virgin Management
1 million subscribers to Virgin Sport within 18 months
Increase in race entry was 25% in the first year
Don’t just listen to us:
``We worked with Glow on defining both the Ladbrokes and Coral brands. The process was seamless, brilliantly executed, created unbelievable alignment internally & externally and has been like rocket fuel for our brands. Emma made what was incredibly hard work really fun and inclusive. Glow is now a regular and crucial part of our team.``
``We chose Glow as our agency over a huge global network agency and never looked back. They are just great to work with; they wrap themselves around us, challenge on all the right stuff in the right way and always deliver brilliantly``
``Emma and the Glow team have completely transformed our business. It started as a rebrand but they have done so much more. They got right under the skin of our business and helped us revamp not just our branding but team culture and our entire approach to the market!``
``Before I met the team at Glow I was convinced that if people wanted to buy stuff they would do so by going up the high street and visiting a shop! Glow completely transformed our marketing strategy and put us on the map digitally``
``As strategic brand consultants ourselves, Emma is the only person in London who I would trust to work with us on our positioning and our individual development. She has led us on a seismic journey but made it feel simple and obvious. Six months on and we are actually now too busy. We owe her so much.``
``The work we did with Glow on developing #RiseWithUs was game changing. We managed build a clear proposition that worked across the marketing, fashion, film, drama and art worlds. Emma and the team brought a huge amount of strategic thinking, energy, drive and those all important connections that made the entire project thrive.``