World Sports Creativity Sessions
Strategy & Concept
Branding & Design
Curation & Programming
How does a global media brand diversify the narrative around the world's largest sporting event?
It was a question we knew we could solve through unique strengths: Dentsu’s untapped business intelligence from brokering billions in sports partnerships together with Semi Permanent’s proven capabilities delivering world-class experiences. We were to research, design and produce a new venture that would enable a sports industry to realize innovation at an unforeseen scale.
This new venture should be able to be nuanced towards almost any sporting context around the globe, routinely enabling a sporting world fit for the times we live in.
Sport is fuelled by creativity. Athletes regularly redefine what humans are capable of, while the designers, technologists and brands of the world have made it their business to continually enable them to do so. These ultra-competitive industries are hungry for insights from increasingly unique sources, and we saw an opportunity to use what we know about design to bring them all together.
What is World Sports Creativity Sessions?
WSCS (World Sports Creativity Sessions), launched as a two-day live experience exploring how business, creativity, technology and design would influence the sports industry beyond 2020.
2,865,586+ Live streams
163,291,649+ Viewing minutes
1,871,496+ Twitter reach
The overall direction of the event required a huge amount of sensitivity and care—necessary when dealing with an entity as important as the Olympic Games and a culture as nuanced as that of Japan. But our hypothesis was simple: by putting everyone in the room together—athletes, designers, futurists and creatives—we could force a feedback loop where such leaders could envision and enable a future that would benefit everyone in the room (and the billions of consumers, brands and fans they represent too).
"Sports have always been right at the forefront of the social change in America. Each athlete has a brand. Each athlete has social media content. Your relevance isn't what you do on the track or field. Your relevance is what you ultimately leave."
Carl Lewis, athlete
Scheduled for May 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic presented a serious challenge for hosting a live event. So in collaboration with Dentsu, WSCS was quickly adapted to suit updated needs—a two day live broadcast that would unite the sports and creative communities at a time they needed it most. We’re immensely proud of adapting our live experience into something just as tangible in the digital realm, and are excited to develop WSCS for a range of complimentary sporting brands and events including the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
The program featured a diverse mix of speakers: including legends Carl Lewis, Carli Lloyd and Shaun White; visionaries Willo Perron, Chris Milk and Viktoria Modesta; explorer Chris Burkard; refugee athlete Asif Sultani and emerging star Kolohe Andino, delivering a message of unique importance to a very specific audience. Weaving personal interests, educated opinion and personal hope for the future of their respective industries, the talks were inspiring, thought-provoking and useful for an audience of sports industry decision makers and fans.
Dentsu gave us access to a treasure trove of data and insights, allowing us to pinpoint the opportunities in sports for growth, both athletically and commercially. We also conducted a series of research trips to Tokyo to not only understand the sports culture of Japan, but it’s influential creative, retail, design and hospitality ethos, before we got to work.
We built the event around five key themes—sustainability, inclusion, performance, experience and innovation—each an industry opportunity that could be explored in depth and with impact.
Armed with an original logo treatment and direction by Semi Permanent director Murray Bell, we bought on our friends at COLLIDER who crafted an intelligent identity system around colour, performance and data.
"To be like truly great at anything, takes such mental perseverance... it's this insatiable drive to get something right. I think that those are the stories, those are the reasons that we go see these people. There's a reason that concerts exists and Olympics exists and basketball games exist."
Willo Perron, designer
For the original experience design, we collaborated with a team of lighting designers, installation artists and technologists to help turn Tokyo Midtown into a celebration of sports in its most radical and distant forms.
Semi Permanent's in-house production, creative and curatorial teams led the project, utilising our experience with concept design, programming and production to brokered partnerships with talent and collaborate on narrative, scripting and remote filming in major cities across the globe.
With safety as a priority, we worked with US studio Ways&Means to capture around 20 hours of footage, with conversations and keynotes edited into broadcast episodes, social media content and physical editorial projects.