A Trailblazing Brand for a Go-To Biking Destination

Environmental DesignBrandingIdentity DevelopmentMerchandise & CollateralBrand StrategyWebsite DesignWebsite Development

Oz Trails

Northwest Arkansas is home to over 300 miles of individually owned and operated mountain biking trails. The Walton Family Foundation saw an opportunity to create one cohesive brand to bring them all together, helping to make the region a premier mountain biking destination. The opportunity got our wheels turning.

Naming Exploration

Before we started concepting names and a brand identity, we did some in-depth research. We wanted every detail to be about the location, so we took into account elements like state history, local Native American culture and language, the history of the environment and more. One detail always kept coming back: the Ozarks. Gorgeous treescapes lined the biking trails, giving the paths an enchanting feel, very similar to a recognizable “yellow brick road.” A yellow brick road in the Ozarks? Hello, Oz Trails.

Every detail that followed was an intentional connection to the landscape. Elements like the state outline and the modern representation of mountains are visual calls back to the location of Oz Trails.

“The colors for the brand came naturally, chosen directly from the sensational sunsets over the rolling Ozark Mountains.”
– David Hildebrand, Creative Director

“We found a welcoming and vibrant mountain-bike community that’s building high-quality trails at a rate we’ve never witnessed before.”
– Bike Mag

The northwest Arkansas region saw the expected spike in tourism and travelers, but Oz Trails also had a profound impact on the community. For the first time, the community had a chance to rally behind a common cause and a brand that reflected their special geography, which is now an integral part of the region’s culture. The Oz Trails brand and message can be found in local museums, on park benches, on airport displays and more, reminding locals and visitors alike that a brand can truly come to life when the rubber hits the trail.

In 2019, Outside Magazine called Bentonville “Disneyland for Mountain Bikers” and in 2022, Bentonville became the home of the U.S. National Mountain Bike Team. Oz Trails is currently used as the home base for U.S. Olympic training. A study released in June 2023 by the University of Arkansas reported that the Northwest Arkansas cycling industry has contributed $159 million to the state economy through cycling related jobs, tourism revenue and taxes. According to the study, biking businesses — encompassing bike shops, repairs, equipment and trail maintenance — generated more than $100 million in revenue and created 743 jobs. Additionally, these businesses contributed $6.1 million in state and local taxes.

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