IFSC Plenary Assembly 2015: A new identity for the IFSC

On March 14th, the IFSC held its annual Plenary Assembly and had a surprise in store for its members, unveiling its new corporate logo. A strong corporate identity in response to the fast development of sport climbing.

International Federation of Sport Climbing
International Federation of Sport Climbing

“This new corporate identity symbolizes the uniqueness and global reach of our sport”, says Marco Maria Scolaris, President of the IFSC. Indeed, since its creation in 2007, the IFSC has spearheaded a robust and efficient structuring of its activities, developing an international expertise in climbing competitions and contributing to the fast growth of the sport together with its member national federations.

During the last few years, the IFSC has spread its wings outside Europe, with several stages of climbing competitions being held around the world, from the Americas to Asia. The image of the sport has become more and more appealing thanks, among other things, to the climbers themselves who are representative of the younger generation (the average age of the athletes is around 20 and 56% are between 16 and 24). In the last two years the TV coverage of the IFSC events has increased significantly and the live streaming of each IFSC event on YouTube has been watched in 210 different countries.

“We are absolutely delighted to see sport climbing booming, with new climbers every day and hundreds of new gyms opening every year all over the world. As an example, the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) has increased their number of licensees by 115 % from 2010 to 2015 and the CMA (Chinese Mountaineering Association) has reported a growth of 54% in the construction of new climbing walls between 2012 and 2015. There are also many plus points to sport climbing and one of them is its accessibility for all: our sport attracts young people and gets them involved in a sport they can practice for the rest of their lives. But it is also very popular amongst other generations and people with disabilities as well. Men and women, boys and girls, kids and older people all play in and on the same field. Climbing is also a low-cost investment and can be easily practiced just about anywhere”, says Scolaris.

Last but not least, sport climbing is being encouraged by established international sports governing bodies to join their events:

  • The sport is in the program of The World Games, and the International World Games Association elected the famous climber Adam Ondra Athlete of Year 2014.
  • FISU (International University Sports Federation) has included sport climbing in the 2016 World University Championships: one more step towards joining the Universiad event program.
  • SportAccord (Union of International Sports Federations) has included sport climbing in the program of the upcoming Urban Games event.
  • IOC (International Olympic Committee) gave Lead, Speed and Boulder disciplines the opportunity to showcase the sport in the Sports Lab at the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014. It was an exceptional opportunity to have sport climbing practiced by thousands of youngsters and athletes of other sports, as well as by the Olympic Family and spectators.

“This last international recognition constituted an unprecedented chance to demonstrate the uniqueness of sport climbing. The 15m high wall could be seen from everywhere in the Sports Lab Olympic park of Nanjing! Sport climbing is the only vertical discipline and deserve new heights!”, says Scolaris.

Verticality, universality and modernity to stand out

This fast growing recognition along with the unique character of the sport led the IFSC to change its logo to be more representative of its current values, international status and abounding development projects.

Anne Fuynel, IFSC Marketing & Communications Director says:

“We wanted to develop an identity that appeals to everyone not only to climbers, one that also shows our values. Intrinsic to sport climbing are many solid values to be shared around the world: sport for all, universality, gender equity, healthy body and mind, dynamic, challenging. These values are borne by our athletes who, in addition to their extraordinary performances, are known for being open-minded, respectful and approachable. This new identity represents all these values and is designed to be understood by everyone all over the world.”

She concludes: “The new logo has been designed to be clear, aerial, universal and promotes gender equity.”

The new IFSC identity will be officially displayed on all the IFSC communication tools on Wednesday 18th of May.

QuellePierre-Emmanuel Danger (IFSC)