Nck Taylor’s epic putt to win the RBC Canadian Open this summer was already iconic.
Now the moment has been incorporated into an icon.
Golf Canada, title sponsor RBC, and tournament organizers announced Friday a tweak to the event’s logo for 2024, featuring Taylor’s silhouette – a design that initially started as an entrant into a pumpkin-carving contest this Halloween.
Golf Canada’s chief marketing officer Tim McLaughlin said the organization’s graphic designer, Brendan Peters, was asked by tournament director Bryan Crawford for help to design something for Ancaster, Ont.’s The Great Pumpkin Stroll. That was the first time the replacement logo featured Taylor.
“He made an amazing pumpkin that featured that design, and it was sort of a one-off and we were sitting around thinking, ‘Wow that’s a really cool pumpkin,’” McLaughlin said. “But we sat back, and we were like, ‘Wait a second, what you’ve done here is really special and maybe there’s an opportunity to lean into it more.'"
From there, Golf Canada started to explore the idea of potentially using Taylor’s putter flip as part of the “core brand identity” for the 2024 RBC Canadian Open and pay tribute to Taylor’s special win.
Taylor, of Abbotsford, B.C., defeated England’s Tommy Fleetwood on the fourth playoff hole at Oakdale Golf and Country Club with a 72-foot eagle – the longest putt Taylor had made in his PGA Tour career.
He was the first Canadian in 69 years to win the men’s national open championship.
The previous logo had an old-school golfer wearing a newsboy cap replacing the "I" in "Canadian." Taylor’s putter-drop image is now in its place.
The Golf Canada team quickly engaged the PGA Tour to advise them of their idea for tweaking the logo and McLaughlin said the Tour, and its social media team especially, loved the opportunity to build more hype heading into next year.
Golf Canada also worked closely with Taylor and his agent, Jordan Snowie of Wasserman, since the early brainstorming stages.
McLaughlin said Taylor, a three-time PGA Tour winner, was “super excited” to see the end result.
“To be a part of the 2024 RBC Canadian Open logo is really special,” said Taylor in a release. “When I first saw the re-design with myself as the swing man, I was flattered by the tribute and thought it was very cool. I am excited to get to Hamilton and looking forward to defending my title.”
While the logo itself is just a static update – and will be featured prominently at every touch point next year including marketing, branding, and likely merchandise – Friday’s launch also included an animated video that transitioned the old logo to the new one.
Axle Films, based in Windsor, Ont. and one of Golf Canada’s marketing partners, was responsible for the animation. It also featured the audio of broadcaster Mark Zecchino’s heroic call of the winning putt for PGA Tour Radio.
“When the logo turned in to an animation, we knew that audio needed to be part of it,” McLaughlin said. “Mark’s call was so special, and I think as a Canadian it evokes such amazing feelings of excitement and pride.”
So, while the genesis of the idea was a pumpkin design, McLaughlin knew there was an opportunity carve out something special for next year – especially after such a thrilling finish this year.
“We thought strategically it was an amazing way to honour such a special moment to make it feel uniquely Canadian and bring some energy and fun to the logo which would be additive to the core brand of the event,” he said.
The 2024 RBC Canadian Open takes place May 28 to June 2 at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Hamilton, Ont.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2023.
Adam Stanley, The Canadian Press