AIS Brand Story
03 Feb 2014
We started with a bold idea. That spirit continues today.
It’s July, 1976. Australians are in front of their television sets, a sense of anticipation filling living rooms.
The waiting is finally over.
The Montreal Olympics are here, and there’s reason to be optimistic. Our sports mad nation has a proud Olympic history — bagging eight gold medals in Munich four years earlier — and again boasts a fine collection of athletic specimens. One-hundred and eighty-four, to be precise.
There’s Stephen ‘Superfish’ Holland. A swimming god in a pool of mere mortals. It’s our race, they say.
There’s Raelene Boyle. Thrice a sprint silver medallist, she’s ready to take on the East Germans. This is her time, they say.
There’s the men’s hockey team. As nimble as they are strong. They’ll bring it home, they say.
Australians wet their lips, poised to cheer and celebrate these victories wildly.
But there would be no fists raised in triumph or warm victorious embraces.
Sixteen days. Five medals.
'We will no longer let the rest of the world pass us by.’
The words of then prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, echo across a muddied site. Athletes, coaches, administrators and politicians have flocked to the northern Canberra suburb of Bruce — still in the throes of construction — to welcome the birth of the Australian Institute of Sport.
It’s January, 1981. Australia Day.
The shock of Australia’s lack of Olympic gold in Montreal was felt across the nation. Those 16 days had shone a light on the national identity, and the role sport plays in defining who we are.
Australians had an unquenchable desire for success. We wanted the exceptional.
A leading high performance sports institute would help deliver it. It would nurture the sporting stars of the future. Help them in their relentless pursuit of success. Provide the means for leaps forward in sports science and medicine.
It was a daring plan. Bold. Gutsy. And one Australians embraced.
For 30 years, many of Australia’s sporting heroes called the AIS home during their career.
It’s where they learnt how to be champions.
Think Deek pounding the pavement. Petria in the pool. Cadel on the bike. Louise in the wheelchair, hurling around the track.
It’s also where some of world sport’s great innovations were made.
A new racing cycle dubbed the Superbike. A body-cooling jacket. A test for erythropoietin that was used at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
The AIS wasn’t afraid to dream big — in the same way as all Australians — and in partnership with sports and athletes delivered on its promise.
It’s now 2014.
A new high performance strategy, Australia’s Winning Edge, is in play. A new brand, one that reflects the times, has arrived.
We continue to dream big, but do so in pursuit of the same goal: delivering the exceptional performances Australians want.
This is what the AIS is about.
Like Australia’s finest athletes, we are ingenious, relentless, daring and exceptional.
Every day there is a new race to run, and we are determined to win.
Bold Intent captures the heart and soul of the AIS. To be bold is to dream bigger than everyone else. It’s about courage, ambition and vision. It’s about seeing what others don’t or won’t do.
Intent is all about ensuring the AIS — with passion and precision — transforms the big ideas into reality. This is a combination of thinking smart and relentlessly persevering, day in, day out.
It is the sound of our nation cheering success.
It is the glint in the eye of the winner on the podium.
It is the Australian flag raised high.
It is individual and collective effort.
It is where science meets sweat.
It feels like gold.
It is the AIS.