The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was initially founded in 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation.
The body, currently presided over by Britain's two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist Sebastian Coe, took its present name in 2001 and World Athletics should be operational from October.
"'World Athletics' builds upon the organisation's restructuring and governance reform agenda of the past four years to represent a modern, more creative and positive face for the sport," said Coe, who took over from disgraced long-time head Lamine Diack in August 2015.
Coe said the IAAF Council, meeting in Monaco, agreed it made "the sport more accessible to a wider audience while giving the global governing body the opportunity to more clearly communicate its mission as the leader of the world's most participatory sport".
"The hope is that our new brand will help attract and engage a new generation of young people to athletics."
IAAF CEO Jon Ridgeon was slightly blunter in his assessment of the IAAF brand.
"The IAAF name has been in existence for over 100 years, but it has little understanding or relevance to those outside of athletics," he said.
"The new identity creates a symbol that can stand alone and work with partners and events."
The new brand identity will begin its rollout in October after the world championships in Doha and following congress' approval of the change to the federation's legal name.