Branding in the world of sports is not just an icon to identify your association, it is a symbol of a lifestyle, an image of hope and aspiration, and a badge of honor on the national stage. Recently, USA Curling came to Stone Ward with a challenge: create a refreshed brand that will honor USA Curling’s past and pave the way for its very bright future.
Balancing Tradition with a New Era
Curling is a unique sport that has surged in popularity since the 2018 Olympic gold medal win by the U.S. Men’s Curling Team. USA Curling challenged us to create a badge that honored the sport’s deep history while ushering in the new era of curling. Stone Ward worked closely with USA Curling to ensure the new badge included the unmistakable symbols of the sport while presenting a distinctly American look.
Stone Ward studied the history and traditions that make curling so unique. What developed from this research was the need to not only create a new badge, but to also launch the badge by telling the story of a sport that has been rooted in honor and sportsmanship since the 16th century, and now skyrockets in popularity and ushers in a bright and inclusive future. We chose to tell the story of curling’s history and its deep influence on the new badge through a launch video and social media graphics.
An Icon for the Ages
The new USA Curling badge is more than just a logo, because we recognize this sport is more than just a brand. It’s a lifestyle, a passion and a legacy. Every element of the new badge brings meaning to curlers across the nation. The circle is the shape of the curling “house,” the area on the ice where athletes aim to score points. While stars are a core symbol of our American flag, the four stars in the new badge represent the number of athletes who take the ice in traditional competitions. The 11 red and white stripes, also a nod to the American flag, represent the national and regional curling associations. The curling stone itself faces to the right to suggest a progression and forward motion. The golden outer ring is representative of the aspirations of the USA Curling Association and all of its athletes in pursuit of excellence.
Working with USA Curling, we pulled photos and videos from the curling archives to craft a video to accompany the badge launch and tell the full story of how the sport has evolved.
“The launch of the new badge and the story of curling was met with excitement from fans new and old,” says Jeff Plush, CEO, USA Curling. “But what’s most exciting is that it’s no longer just a logo; it’s a badge that our athletes, our fans and our sponsors will wear with pride. And that is thanks, in large part, to Stone Ward.”
In fact, the USA Curling badge is now available on T-shirts, hats and even beer growlers.
As this sport continues to grow, we are reminded of the Spirit of Curling, a creed for curlers around the world, that states, “The spirit of the game demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honorable conduct.” Stone Ward is proud to play a part in designing a badge to honor those principles.