Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the Year of the Ox. Like its animal namesake, the Chinese believe that this year will be characterised by hard work, diligence and perseverance and that such efforts shall be rewarded with prosperity. Let's hope so.

Whether or not you subscribe to the Cino Calendar, it's clear world-over that the time of get-rich-quick schemes and riding another's coat tails has come to a screeching halt. It's nice to think they've made way for those who put in a consistent effort.

Certainly one of our clients' tireless input has just paid off, after years of incremental growth. Congratulations Chris Cole on launching on new era of the 'Cole Classic' ocean swim race with great success last Sunday.


The Cole Classic first became a Shoebox Creative client five years ago. Shoebox was asked to create a new look for the growing brand; one which would postion it firmly as a serious-yet-welcoming race for professional and amateur swimmers alike.

That year there were 1200 entries. At that time founder, Chris Cole's, vision was to see the race grow in importance on the annual ocean swim race calender. 

Shoebox's new signage created renewed interest from the media and competitors. The race's profile was further enhanced when it moved from Bondi to Manly in 2007, introducing the 1km novice's leg. Each subsequent year Shoebox has revved up the race image to revive coverage and build collector's items for those who faithfully return. In 2007, the race's strong profile enabled the introduction of a fund-raising component. 

Last Sunday, the Cole Classic raced nearly 3000 competitors. Entries for both the 1km and 2km legs closed before race day, the field full to bursting. At the time of this post, the this year's race has raised $52,327.20.

This year, the Cole Classic was also taken over by a major organisation. She became a Sydney Morning Herald Event. Their vision: a swim race which will eventually hold the same status, joy and rivalry as its land counterpart - the City to Surf Fun Run. 

With a rough swell and hot, summer weather, their inauguration delivered feisty race conditions; a joy for spectators and competitors alike. An impressive result for a tiny ocean fun swim that began twenty six years ago with 101 competitors in the field. Just goes to show that perserverance and hard work can eventually deliver a mother pay load.

What's your big plan for the Year of the Ox?