More selected projects

Facilitating a discovery workshop, brand strategy session and delivering a 'brand storyboard' design for a community football club

The Challenge

Santos AFC is a local community football club based in Royton, Oldham and welcomes boys and girls from any surrounding area. Santos started as a local 6-aside team based in Oldham in the late 1990s. In 2006, after years of dominating the various competitions, several of the players decided to form an 11-aside team and Santos AFC was born.

The Challenge

I have been with Santos AFC since the beginning when I was asked to design the logo and kits and for the club. Recently that came back to me and said that they felt like they were floating along, moving from one issue to another and also felt that it was difficult for them to identify their progress and purpose.

The Solution

The solution was for me as their designer to dig deeper and facilate a number of workshops for with the Santos AFC commitee to find out more about them. This included discovering what are their aspirations, what is their desired perception of themselves and what desired perceptions they are looking for?

Why the sessions are a good idea for Santos AFC

• We will have distinguished Santos AFC from the competition.

• Santos AFC will gain a powerful brand proposition to take on their competitors more effectively.

• We will have a clear purpose for why Santos AFC are engaging players, the families and sponsors.

• It will help to align Santos AFC's marketing more closely with their players/families and even make inroads into new markets.

• Santos AFC will be able to communicate with players and families more clearly and consistently. 

• A clear brand vision helps make sure everyone at Santos AFC is working towards the same objectives.

During three after work discovery sessions I sat with the commitee of the Santos AFC to try to uncover the things about them that makes them unique. These sessions involved fun games to help uncover the insights that we don't see on the surface. Here are the discoveries that came from these sessions:

With help from me as a companion and guide Santos AFC gained insights to get to their goal faster and more efficiently than they would alone. The discoveries helped the committee to align and create clear measurable objectives so that they could then decide on a strategy, mission and vision for Santos AFC.

During the sessions I wrote down any keywords or overarching themes. Did they repeat a word a lot? I look for patterns anywhere and everywhere. I asked tons of questions. Once I identified a pattern, I connected the dots to form an insight. Those patterns told me about what the clientʼs brand personality and values should be.

Once I had the board's findings I helped to interpret them and the club received this 'Brand Storyboard' that expressed their brand insights. This gave them a clear idea of where the club is now, where it wants to go and how it is going to get there.

These workshops and the 'Brand Story Board' helped Santos AFC to have clear measurable objectives. During the discovery workshops the commitee got to take a step back and assess their overall message and how they are going to present it to their audience. Running these workshops gave strategic value to Santos AFC to help them grow.  

Having a creative person like me included at the table when contemplating strategy from the outset, the more likely that strategy is to be realised when they execute. Injecting creativity into the beginning of a business discussion is a way to boost the success of the outcome. It was also way to make my long term value of my relationship with Santos.

It was awesome to help a community project especially since it was clear to me that Santos AFC are passionate about making their community a healthy, safe and happy place.



The strategic marketing workshops have provided our Football Club with clear goals for the coming years and Suzanne led the sessions superbly. Previously we were floating along, moving from one issue to another and it was difficult to identify progress and purpose. The workshops gave our committee ownership and responsibility and we now have clear measurable objectives that drive forward our committee meetings and that will make the Club successful.

- Santos Football Club

Snaps of our meeting area in the community club bar

Some of the fun games that were played during the workshops to help everyone relax, focus and uncover insights.

With permission I used the games suggested in this Glorious Creative DIY Brand Workshop Pack. They say in the pack that they 'make no apology for occasionally borrowing the best of other people’s ideas.' Most of the exercises were straightforward, but coming up with the answers was sometimes challenging. However, the results proved well worth the effort.

Development of the Santos Squirrel

During the workshops the​​​ commitee decided that a squirrel is the best animal to represent the club because a squirrel would symbolise the harding working attitude of Santos AFC and of the people of Oldham, which is famous for it's industrial past. Of course squirrels are also quick and clever and would make great footy players!

Top picture: From rough pencil sketch to a digitally painted Mascot design using the Procreate App on an ipad. Bottom left: a simple animated gif. Bottom right: A timelapse showing the digital process of painting a the Santos Squirrel Masocot.