9.6.23 | 3 min
Gowen Thunder Can Be Our Wingman Anytime
During the weekend of August 26-27, the 2023 Gowen Thunder Airshow featured the US Air Force Thunderbirds, US Army Golden Knights, and the F-35A Demonstration team, just to name a few. Held at Boise’s Gowen Field, home to the headquarters of the Idaho National Guard, Idaho’s 4th largest employer, there were also modern military demonstrations, high-powered civilian aircraft demonstrations, simulators, and kid-friendly activities.
Organizing a free event that draws hundreds of thousands of people with millions of dollars of economic impact to the Boise area is no small undertaking. Lt. Col. Tony Vincelli, Director of the Gowen Thunder Airshow, saw this as an opportunity to put on an incredibly powerful spectacle and build a lasting brand with impact for years to come. That’s where we came in.
The 2023 Gowen Thunder Airshow was the first show in five years in the Treasure Valley, and Vincelli wanted to create a brand and unique identity and invest time with our agency to get it right. This airshow is a recruiting tool for the Idaho National Guard and emblematic of the strong patriotic community we so proudly reside in. Vincelli said, “We wanted the air show to be the signature event in the Valley for 2023.”
The previous logo needed some polishing to match the pageantry and impact the 2023 airshow was destined to create. The updated logo is clean and easily identifiable to scale both large and small. 116 & West’s creative team used unidentifiable aircrafts so as not to be representative of any particular military branch. The design’s lighting bolts in the “W” pair well with the organization’s name, and six variations were created to match the various ways this logo would be used to brand wine glasses, tote bags, signage, flags, and more.
UX Design and Web Development
The Gowen Thunder website needed an engaging and impressive user experience to match the excitement surrounding the event. Over the weekend, the website had 81,211 unique visitors, helping them navigate events and plan parking.
Our web development team utilized high-resolution photography, bold colors, and sharp angular shapes to create a striking impression and UX design that pairs perfectly with the Gowen Thunder brand. We also created custom icons to visually signify important calls-to-action.
Creating a smooth user experience is important for a high-traffic website, so we focused on simplifying the navigation and page content to make it easy for users to find the information they need.
The primary objectives of the airshow were to thank the community for its support of the Idaho National Guard and to showcase its combat capabilities.
Our team created a branded packet with beautiful photography that landed sponsorships from national names like Liquid Death, Jack Daniel’s, and Micron. Local and regional supporters, including Title Sponsor CapEd, the City of Boise, Boise Airport, Proud Source Spring Water, and Visit Idaho, also signed on.
A Thunderous Success
According to KTVB, “Gowen Thunder had an estimated $8.7 million economic impact. It drew 120,000 unique visitors, 30% of whom were from out of town. About 40% of those who traveled to Boise – 14,400 people – stayed overnight.”
Vincelli is grateful for the help of over 1,000 volunteers and their efforts for this incredible event. He said of the branding, “We finally have an identity. We invested and got a brand that we needed and wanted. It was a logo I felt proud of and wanted to show off.”
Building brand equity for a non-profit organization like Gowen Thunder was an important project for our agency, and we look forward to seeing the logo for years to come.