New club, new name, new brand

1 Aug 2023
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR) has kicked off a new chapter in its illustrious history with the launch of a new brand.

The merger between Auckland Racing Club and Counties Racing Club saw the creation of a new entity, Auckland Thoroughbred Racing, which is the parent company of Ellerslie Racecourse, Pukekohe Park, and Ellerslie Event Centre – now renamed as Ellerslie Events to better reflect the breadth and diversity of its offerings.

With the anticipated return to racing at Ellerslie Racecourse scheduled for early 2024, the timing was ideal for a rebrand that would consolidate the three destinations together under a single umbrella.

“It’s not every day you get the opportunity to work on brands that have such importance not only to a vital NZ industry but also to our city, especially those that are close to 150 years old,” says True CEO, Matt Dickinson.

“So, it was with equal parts excitement and trepidation we undertook this amazing project with the team at Auckland Thoroughbred Racing. Thankfully, Paul (Wilcox), Laura (Madden), Olivia (Kinley) and the board were hugely supportive of the process and the work and as a result we have created new brands for the iconic Ellerslie Racecourse, Ellerslie Event Centre, Pukekohe Park and the Auckland Thoroughbred Racing brand itself. Work we are immensely proud of.”

The new brand draws on the rich heritage of horse racing in Auckland and will aim to showcase the club’s deep commitment to thoroughbred racing and the people who make the sport what it is.

“Working closely with ATR to develop the brand and identities has been an exciting challenge,” says True Creative Director & Partner, Matt Heays.

“ATR boasts an outstanding legacy as the premiere home of thoroughbred racing. It was essential we honour that legacy while making sure we delivered modern, vibrant and exciting identities for each brand, with bold expressions that would be head-turning and create the kind of energy generated at the races and the many events and occasions they host.

“Each brand is defined by unique colour and design attributes yet each is imbued with elements from the masterbrand, bringing them all into a cohesive family. We’re thrilled with the outcome.”

The new racing brands have launched today (August 1) to coincide with the start of the new racing season whilst the Ellerslie Events brand was showcased earlier this year at the MEETINGS trade show, the only national trade show in New Zealand for the business events industry. The rebrands will also include new websites in due course developed by Calibrate, as well as various out of home executions.

“There’s a lot of positive change happening in the industry and across ATR, and most people will be aware of the huge amount of building and redevelopment work taking place at our Ellerslie track. For this reason we needed a new brand to provide ATR with a focus and strategic direction for many years to come,” says ATR CEO, Paul Wilcox.

“Getting there was an incredibly robust process, but I’m pleased with the result, grateful for all the hard work that went into creating it and delighted to have all our brands united under a single umbrella.”


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