I worked with Vox Media one spring with the The Verge and SB Nation teams. I worked on media for the The Verge for a couple of weeks, but my main focus was SB Nation's major rebranding project. SB Nation is a network of over 300 sport blogs. At the time, there wasn't a consistent brand across all the sport blogs. It was possible to visit one of their online properties and not be aware that it was part of the SB Nation network, so we wanted to solve that with a brand that would unite the network.
The biggest challenge for the rebrand was being able to create a consistent brand across the network but also provide enough creative freedom so that each sport blog could maintain their personal identity. The team was split off into two groups to work on different brand directions, and after a three month period, we were getting ready to make our presentations. However, there wasn't one clear direction that we all felt confident with. I felt like there was one brand direction that had not been explored, so I spent the weekend working on it.
My brand direction was rather simple but powerful. We wanted to unite the blogs, so an SB Nation branded ring as a foundation made sense to me. Inside the ring, each blog could take creative liberty to represent their blog’s identity. Taking this approach, I developed a few concepts and presented them to team. The team agreed that there was something compelling about the brand direction that I had developed, and we worked to refine it.
In the final hours, we prepped for a third rebrand pitch instead of the original two. It just so happened that I had a vacation planned for Las Vegas when the brand pitches would take place. I remember locking myself in the washroom of my hotel room because it was the best place to get wifi and pitching my brand idea to Jim Bankoff, Vox Media’s CEO. A few weeks later we a had decision. Vox Media had decided to go with my brand direction for the SB Nation rebrand. While the initial brand exploration was my idea, it was a team effort to get it to the finish line.
When the SB Nation rebrand launched, it was well received internally and externally https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/its_a_sports_nation_we_are_only_living_in_it.php, and if you visit SB Nation today, you can see how brand continues to evolve with the brand foundation we set.
To learn more about the process, please read Ted Irvine’s Article: https://product.voxmedia.com/2012/9/10/5426796/sb-nation-united-the-big-rebrand