Game Shapers – Case Study

We were approached in early 2016 with the requirement to create a sub-brand for over 1,500 staff, 15,000 volunteers and up to 40,000 contractors who collectively made up the GC2018 Games time workforce.

The brief was exceptionally complex and included many different objectives and stakeholders. A key element was to create a name for the GC2018 workforce to help connect and unite this extremely diverse group of people and to provide a common identity and purpose. The sub-brand needed to be memorable and meaningful externally so that it would become synonymous with the Games time workforce and used above more common phrases such as “the volunteers”. Importantly, the concept needed to support the proposal to launch the actual brand just prior to the Games but use ‘teaser’ wording/language in campaigns such as staff and volunteer recruitment drives.

Potential names were required to align with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games heroic archetype. They needed to be specific enough to belong to these games, but broad enough to encompass the diversity of the roles on offer. The sub-brand name needed to work commercially and pass our ‘T-Shirt-Test’. Would you feel proud to wear the name on a T-Shirt, or is it so heroic, it’s embarrassing and arrogant?


The workforce brand for the GC2018 sub brand collectively represented:
Paid Staff
GOLDOC Volunteers

As such the name had to be flexible enough to embrace all these subcategories, enabling creative and positive language to be used externally and internally in recruitment, staff retention, campaigning and workplace management.
The internal team led by the Creative Services Manager, Bill Key created the name ‘Games Shapers’ and they subsequently managed all phases of the brand development. 
Working with a team that included designers and design students from GC2018 education partner, Griffith University, the Games Shapers brand was brought to life. This involved developing the final brand logo and associated brand assets, to creating the brand personality – a set of vision, mission and value statements to round out the brand as a tangible and meaningful complete package.


The Games Shapers brand:
Like the Games the name was active and dynamic. It suggested a high level of craftsmanship and expertise and the sub-graphic program used aspects of the GC2018 colour palette and sub-graphics and combined them with elements from the emblem.

These were used across all stationary, presentation collateral and signage and involved liaising directly with the uniform supplier to ensure the brand vision was realised for more than 15,000 volunteers and 1,800 staff. The uniform needed to be bright and vibrant, in keeping with the GC2018 brand personality and to enable volunteers and staff to stand out from the public during the 12 days of the event.

We created stories around the Games Shapers name based on its original meaning:
The definition of Shaping is: To plan or devise. To improve ones’ performance. To influence in a formative way. To direct the course of. To create or fashion. To mould and pattern, to give form.

Games Shapers will Plan, Influence and Direct the successful delivery of GC2018.
It had a strong sporting connotation, Rugby Sevens’ players shape up to the ball before kicking, Boxers shape up in the ring, Netballers shape up before shooting the goal.

Subtle nod to the Gold Coast surfing lifestyle which is strong through the whole GC2018 brand.
History teaches us that the greatest people, the greatest careers, the greatest monuments, the greatest events have been Shaped by someone or something.

The Games Shapers brand allowed for consistent and positive language leading up to the launch of the brand and right throughout the GC2018 journey, which proved incredibly successful.

Paid Staff messaging:
Thanks to you, the Games are in great shape.
Change the shape of your career- apply to be a Games Shaper.
Reshape your life, apply to be a Games Shaper.
Life is not a spectator sport, shape your future.
Break the mould and help shape the future.
Sit back and watch the games, or help shape them? Volunteer to be a Games Shaper.
Watch your career start to take shape, become an intern at GC2018.
Your business can help shape the Gold Coast’s future.
Imagine your business helping shape the games.

A comprehensive set of Workforce brand guidelines was developed and added to the more than 1000 pages of guidelines created during GC2018 to protect the integrity of the brand and aid in the application of the brand across multiple platforms.



“I was so grateful to have Bill lead this project. He completely understood the brief, made significant contributions to the creative components and was a trusted advisor and expert throughout the entire brand development journey.
One of Bill’s greatest strengths was the manner in which he was able to articulate the brand products to the various stakeholders that needed to approve prior to implementation. Bill was excellent at presenting our original vision, highlighting the tangible benefits and linking the final products together.
The Games Shaper brand absolutely exceeded expectations. It was quickly adopted by the workforce, easily implemented into GOLDOC language and initiatives, applied to uniforms, training materials and recognition items and utilised by all external stakeholders (including media) when referring to the Games workforce.
In my view, the Games Shapers brand was the most successful sub-brand ever created for a Commonwealth Games and has been lauded by industry experts as a new benchmark for 
future Games.”

Jessica Platts
Head of Workforce
GC2018 Commonwealth Games