What if this were the ultimate prize in Australia’s biggest sporting competition?

The AFL Premiership Cup represents the ultimate prize in Australia’s biggest sporting competition. Eighteen teams play 22 rounds and a gruelling finals campaign for the right to hold this cup aloft in victory. We at Cobalt asked ourselves: does the current cup live up to this role?

So, to test this concept, we at Cobalt developed a new Premiership Cup concept, which we believe better reflects today’s modern sporting experience.

The new Premiership Cup concept combines tradition with bold forms and the latest manufacturing and communications technologies.

History

Traditionalists may baulk at the idea, but according to Cobalt Design Director Jack Magree, “every generation needs the chance to re-imagine its symbols to keep them alive. The best way we can respect tradition is to reinterpret the old Cup with the best we can do today”.

Like any institution (and especially elite sporting competitions), Australian football has always been constantly evolving. Rules, uniforms, logos, stadiums, and participation have all been tuned and refined in line with social attitudes during each era. Whilst many people would believe the current Premiership Cup design is as old as the competition itself, it was, in fact, was only first created in 1959. Before this, premiership teams were only awarded a flag. And now we believe the time for renewal has come again.

According to Jack, Cobalt’s approach to the new Cup was to respect tradition by keeping it recognisable to the current cup; “It would have been easy to start from a clean slate and design something modern, unconnected to the Cup’s roots. We chose a design direction that retained essential elements like the iconic bowl, side handles and solid frame.”

OBJECTIVES

  • Re-imagine the ultimate prize for Australia’s premier sport
  • Reflect the contemporary game and competition
  • Remain recognisable and technically feasible
  • Showcase Australian technology and manufacturing

DESIGN SOLUTIONS

  • Interactive technologies, such as Fan-Cam camera and LEDs programmable in club colours
  • Side handles reflect outstretched arms
  • Allows Cup to be held in triumph by Captain and Coach
  • Incorporates uniquely Australian materials and references

COBALT TASKS

  • Design strategy
  • Industrial Design
  • CAID
  • CG visualisation and animation
  • Jack Magree
  • Steve Martinuzzo
  • Daniel Booker
  • Ryan Harper
  • Ricardo Figari 
  • Andrew Beard
  • Graeme Marshall 

It's all about performance

One of Cobalt’s core principles is that design should improve product performance. How performance is defined varies from product to product; from environmental performance evidenced in KeepCup, sporting and player performance shown in the Concave Football Boot; or the superior safety and convenience of Melbourne’s new trams which have increased accessibility for disabled and elderly passengers, better safety, and high aircraft-quality interiors.

In many ways the new trophy has more symbolism than the current version, and it showcases Australia’s best in innovation, materials, technology and design. Features include:

  • Fan-Cam: An integrated hi-resolution camera which captures video and still images, sending them live to broadcast or webcast. The Camera captures the looks of pure joy from fans attending the post-Grand Final parties and family days.
  • Side Arms: The Side Arms symbolise the outstretched arms of a player when taking a mark. They feature practical grips in the same leather as regulation footballs, gracefully aging in colour like a real football.
  • Advanced Manufacturing: The new Cup would be made using precious Australian metals and timbers and cutting edge computer-controlled manufacturing combined with traditional local craftsmanship.

For the uninitiated

For those of you based outside of Australia and need some help in placing this significance of this icon, you can get a good overview of Australian Rules football here. Australian Rules is the most popular and watched football code in Australia. Its top competition, the AFL, attracts game attendances of 6.5 million per season and the Grand Final alone is the world’s highest attended club championship event, with a TV audience of over 2.6 million.

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