Rebranding a whole sport: Household called upon by Pentathlon GB

The UK governing body for pentathlon wanted to inspire new athletes to take up the sport, and it’s built a dedicated sub-brand to do it.

8 November 2023

The creative agency Household has an interesting new client in Pentathlon GB (the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon). Pentathlon GB is keen to modernise and invite in new audiences, while better connecting with existing fans and athletes. But rather than rebranding itself, the institution has called on Household to design Penta+, a brand dedicated to recruiting new fans to the ancient sport.

It’s been going since the 18th Olympiad in 708 BC in fact! The modern version of Pentathlon first first appeared at the Olympics in 1912 – today it comprises five different disciplines: swimming, fencing, horse riding (show jumping), pistol shooting and running (Laser Run).

The Penta+ brand doesn’t look dissimilar to a lifestyle brand, which is largely because of Household’s goal to recruit entry-level participants. “Mindful that we were had to compete to capture our target audiences’ share of mind and time, meant we looked to fitness, lifestyle, and wellbeing brands outside of their immediate sporting world, to unlock relevance and reach. We referenced the diversity and representation of Gym Shark, the connectivity of Nike, and the supportive and celebratory community of Strava,” says Luke Weston, brand experience strategy director, Household. At the same time, Household had to ensure a balance, so as not to alienate long-standing athletes.


Household: Penta+ (Copyright © Household, 2023)

The Penta plus symbol is the core asset developed by Household. While it might feel a little streaming service at first, the symbol is meant to reflect all the limitless potential pentathlon might unlock in new athletes – it also nods nicely to the fact that the sport can be for more of us than expected. The plus mark has been abstracted into a pattern system which is paired with gradients, frames and graphic pulses to bring “pace” to all communication assets, says Paz Martinez Capuz, design director.

Paz continues: “Typography was a powerful tool to signal change, and a conscious shift away from fussy iconography or hackneyed visual metaphors of italics signalling movement or dynamism.” The new Penta+ typeface is bold and capitalised, combining Archivo and Inter to drive impact.

“As we celebrate 100 years of Pentathlon in the UK, this rebrand of the sport signifies a pivotal moment in our journey and for Pentathlon. [...] Pentathlon should be a sport for everyone, and it was incredibly important for us to create a brand that speaks to all groups, but most importantly supports all groups. For us, Penta+ is a true embodiment of our commitment to the evolution of the sport and our work with Household perfectly communicates that,” says Trafford Wilson, CEO at Pentathlon GB.

GalleryHousehold: Penta+ (Copyright © Household, 2023)

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Household: Penta+ (Copyright © Household, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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