For the Gift Shop at the Races, Marc & Chantal created a total design solution that included an end-to-end branding exercise and a
customer-centric experience system for both the Happy Valley and Sha Tin racecourses. The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), a
non-profit organisation providing sporting, betting entertainment and horse racing, is one of the oldest institutions in the city, and
one of the largest racing organisations in the world.
A look back: Horse racing in Hong Kong commenced in 1841 with the arrival of the British, who immediately drained a malarial
swamp to form a racetrack in Happy Valley. In its earliest days, this Sport of Kings had a regal atmosphere to match the
magnificence of the animals. From presidents to playboys, moguls and movie stars- all around the world, and especially in Hong
Kong, a day at the racecourse was laden with men in jackets and ties, and ladies in fancy dress. But like many traditions, after
several generations, the sport began to loose its appeal, and with increased technology and betting depots scattered around town, the
fashionable ritual of physically going to the racecourse slowly began fade.
So on a mission to re-ignite the tradition of attending the races, the HKJC looked to Marc & Chantal to transform their current
gift-counter into a retail experience, which echoes the energy and excitement of the races, and ultimately attract the younger
generations to continue to attend the races. From creating an engaging environment, solving operational challenges and creating
seamlessness between the actual racing event and the items sold in the shop, the ultimate challenge for Marc & Chantal Design was
to create a brand which would speak directly to the next generation of race-goers.
Betting ballots in hand, the team at Marc & Chantal Design made several trips to both Happy Valley and Sha Tin, and braved the
crowds at the several betting stations around the city, to really dive into the emotional design process. What does a night at the races
feel like? The team at Marc & Chantal described a Wednesday night in Happy Valley as a pulsating, exciting and energetic
experience. From the power and speed of the horses, the playful hues of the jockeys racing silks to the fun-loving after-work crowd,
enjoying the electric urban skyline and alfresco atmosphere the foundation of the design was rooted in the high-spiritedness of the
Starting with the brand definition, the team defined the target customer profile which encompassed a younger demographic of
race-goers who represented a mix of westerners, Hong Kong locals and tourists. From there, the team of writers, designers and
managers worked to create a unique positioning, DNA, promise and mission statement which would provide a strong foundation for
the team of designers both interior and graphic, to work together to develop a seamless brand experience.
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