Branding with Blazers

The biggest event on the rowing calendar, the Henley Royal Regatta has come around again, the town is festooned with brightly coloured blazers and flamboyant hats. With our offices just a stone’s throw from the river, we can barely make it out the door before getting lost in the crowds. The regatta attracts competitors from all across the globe, with different languages, customs, and culinary preferences, but they all have one thing in common. They all wear blazers.

Henley Regatta Colourful Blazers

Each club has their own blazer, with uniquely coloured, patterned, and embroidered. Some of these clubs are hundreds of years old and the rowers today wear the same blazers as they did back then (not literally, I assume). What we’re seeing at the regatta is a gathering of some of the oldest brands in the world, all gathering to compete and see who’s the best.

Leander Rowing Club LogoWhile winning is obviously important, it wouldn’t mean much if no one remembered it. Every club is associated to a blazer, just as every win is to a club. They become status symbols, tied to the success of their club. Even in 100 years time when the winning team is long gone, the legacy remains.

Look at Henley’s own Leander Club, the oldest non-academic rowing club in the world. Their logo, a bright pink hippo and pink paddled oars, is both striking and humorous. They use their brand to embody the fun spirit of their sport. Along with their blazers each member wears bright pink trousers, making them impossible to miss in a crowd. Their bold brand is tied to their history as one of the oldest and most successful rowing clubs in the world. Every visitor to the regatta knows who they are before they say a word.

Henley Regatta Rowing ClubsWhether you see the regatta as the highlight of the social calendar or a Victorian throwback, it’s certainly an eye catching affair. If you want to learn more about how powerful brands can be and how you can make your brand work for you, check out our video, Why Do I Need A Strong Brand?