Racers! Start your...pedals?
Every so often, a “clear the calendar” project comes my way.
My buddy Craig called me up and asked if I could squeeze an identity job in, and I was pretty hesitant as life was busy at the time. He said I’d probably want to hear him out on it, so I did. And I’m glad I did. Here’s the pitch: a 12 hour endurance race (okay, go on), on bikes (sweet), at Road America (!!!), all to support the efforts of myTeam Triumph (!!!!). My gears started turning immediately as this was a chance to blend my love of cycling, cars, motorsports, and Wisconsin into a great brand, and so the 12 Hours of Road America was born.
The format is a solo or team cycling event, on the historic race track, from 6 pm to 6 am. Participants of all ages and abilities are welcomed, and each competitor pledges to raise at least $250 toward inclusive endurance sports opportunities. It’s an overnight party and a chance to experience a great road course on two wheels under the stars.
We wanted this race to feel like a premier event, and to marry the aesthetics of auto racing and endurance sport. The R/12 mark came about late in the concepting stage, and packs a lot of symbolism into a simple form. After dozens of sketches and ideas pulling in checkered flags, course maps, wheels and gears, this direction emerged. I knew I wanted to include the ‘12’ numerals as the duration was a core component of what makes this a unique race. The pairing of those shapes hinted at an ‘R’ for Road America, or Racing, or Riding. The upper part of the mark gives a subtle nod to the Carousel turn of the course, and the lower part makes up an arrow, suggesting the cyclical nature of the event and the dozens of laps riders will take around the famous course.
Activating the Brand
Once we had a visual direction approved, we began to activate the brand throughout all the possible interaction points, and being almost a year away still, it will continue to be applied in so many different ways. Craig and his team handled the website and social media presence. One really exciting medium to apply the brand to was a series of cycling jerseys that riders can purchase or earn through fundraising or on-track performance:
I was able to incorporate little tributes to the track and uniqueness of this particular cycling event through some checker patterns, track illustrations, and some inspiration from signage throughout the town of Elkhart Lake, WI that marks out the original course.
I’m so pumped for Christian and the team from myTeam Triumph - Wisconsin, for Craig and the Lighthouse Events crew, and all the participants who will get to experience this race. Registration is open now for the August 10, 2019 event, and if you’re into cycling, this is a destination event like no other! See you on the track!