Date Added: 27 April 2022

Q&A with Forward CEO, Bill Tannahill

Date Added: 27 April 2022
Q&A with Forward CEO, Bill Tannahill
Rebrand Close-up — Q&A with Forward Travel CEO Bill Tannahill

You’ve probably noticed a few changes over the last week or so — from the name to the brand colours to the new website.

But how did we get here? And what does it mean to the clients, partners, employees and investors who’ve been at the heart of our success?

We caught up with Bill to lift the lid on our rebrand journey and explain what people can expect from Forward Travel.


1) Why did you decide to rebrand Fairway as Forward Travel?

'A big part of our success and strong reputation has been our willingness to evolve and modernise our proposition and business.'

The rebrand is the natural next step in our evolution. We’re bringing in new features to our service and extending into other sports, alongside our core proposition in professional golf. The change of name was a result of the process we undertook — the rebrand runs much deeper.


2) What did the rebrand involve?

We started with some soul-searching, asking and answering some of the big questions about who we are, who we want to be, where we want to go and what we think is the right way to get there.

'That allowed us to define our positioning, identity, vision and values. All of which has given us direction for how we want to build the business.'

Having this clarity also prompted the discussion and eventual decision to explore different names. We undertook a thorough process and decided Forward Travel was right for us. From there, we set about modernising our branding and building a website that reflected the business we’ve become.


3) Who did you work with?

As specialists in what we do, we recognise the value of working with people who know their stuff. We enlisted Once in Nashville to help with our positioning and messaging, Playmaker Studio for naming and design, and our long-term partner Vibe for web development. We also involved members of the team and other key stakeholders at various stages of the process. Having that mix of expertise, experience and perspectives at the table led to a thorough and considered branding journey.


4) Why did the name Fairway need to go?

Fairway was trusted by pro golfers, their teams, tournament organisers and the media. It was the perfect name for us for three decades. But it’s a word synonymous with golf. It doesn’t fit with any other sport and has the potential to confuse or alienate customers.

'We all agreed that having a name that wasn’t associated with a single sport would allow us to tell a clear and simple story that all employees, clients and investors could all understand and get behind. It was a tough decision, but we’re confident it was the right one.'


5) Why ‘Forward Travel’?

The process resulted in a number of good suggestions, some linked to sport, others more aligned to our identity and values. We tested our preferred options with visuals and messaging to get a feel for what worked and what didn’t. We ran them past key stakeholders and gave ourselves plenty of time before making a decision.

We chose Forward for a few reasons. 

'Travel is about motion and direction — you have to move forward to get where you need to be. We believe in being straightforward in how we serve and communicate with our clients, because they want to focus on what they do best, not arranging travel.'

It was the combination of all these factors that led to our decision.


6) What can people expect from Forward Travel?

'First and foremost, the same great service.We want athletes, organisers and the media to be able to focus on what they do and be the best they can be — not find themselves stressed or distracted by travel.'

So our clients can expect an uninterrupted service. That means no changes to our brilliant team, who’ll bring the same understated professionalism, personal service and calmness under pressure that people have come to expect from us.

We’ll continue to communicate effectively so that clients feel comfortable with the plan and our approach, while our Travel Desk will still be inside the ropes at major events.


7) What's next for Forward Travel?

We have new digital products in the pipeline with our core golf market to give clients more flexibility and choice. Plus, some exciting opportunities in other sports, which we should be able to announce soon. Watch this space.



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