Club Menangle, formerly NSW Harness Racing Club (NSWHRC), is an entertainment destination with a rich heritage in the harness racing industry. It also offers dining options and function and event facilities for members and guests.
NSWHRC came to us with some challenging naming and architecture issues in relation to their sport, their club and their venue. There was ambiguity between the names and roles of the club itself, NSW Harness Racing Club, the state body, Harness Racing NSW, and the venue, Tabcorp Park Menangle. There was also a question about what the name of the sport should be – harness racing, trots, or something else?
In addition, the board wanted to attract new and younger people, families and local businesses to the sport, the club and the venue, and to understand how to position and develop the club’s brand to maximise its potential.
We started with desk research followed by senior stakeholder depth interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the brand.
We then conducted three quantitative online research surveys covering four key audience groups – employees, members/guests, local residents and the business community. The surveys shone light on current perceptions of the brand, industry and sport, brand experiences, club visitation behaviour and decision drivers.
Using the research insights, we developed a brand positioning for the club, and naming recommendations for the industry, the club and the venue. The club name was changed to Club Menangle, and the venue name to Tabcorp Park @ Club Menangle, to demonstrate a separation between the two. We also developed the club’s brand story, tone of voice and key messaging.
A new logo and visual identity was developed for Club Menangle, as well as a separate but strongly connected identity for Club Menangle Harness Racing. The new brand was documented in brand guidelines, and rolled out across new corporate stationery.
We then held planning workshops for the brand launch, and documented a launch marketing plan and implementation calendar for Club Menangle.
The launch was highly successful and employees, industry stakeholders and members are excited by and united behind the new brand.
The industry, club and venue architecture and naming challenges have been solved, and the new, Club Menangle brand has been positioned and designed for wider appeal and growth.
The new name captures the Club as a true “destination” – both for its traditional harness racing events, and for its conference and events facilities.
The brand research continues to be used by the board and by the Club to inform strategic decisions.