Tag Archives: sponsors

The end of the London 2012 Olympics

12 Aug

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All good things come to an end – and, after what can only be described as a ‘fantastic fortnight of sport’, the London 2012 Olympics has concluded.

My GamesMaker journey started two years ago with a simple application, followed by an interview, training sessions and eventually uniform and accreditation collection. Based at the ExCeL inside the judo and wrestling arenas, I’ve distributed start times and schedules to the world’s press, ensured they had everything they needed and assisted with press conferences for Team GB’s own Gemma Gibbons (judo) and USA’s Jordan Burroughs (wrestling). Needless to say I’ve enjoyed every minute.

It’s been a great experience with lots of perks on top of being part of this unforgettable experience and witnessing great sports first hand. The Olympic sponsors have looked after the GamesMakers to no end – with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Nature Valley coming out on top.

Biting off more than I can chew?

In my two weeks at the ExCeL I’ve not eaten or even sniffed a Big Mac. Why? Quite simply, there isn’t one at the venue. Instead I’ve enjoyed a range of balanced meals: shepherd’s pie, chicken chasseur and stir-fry to name a few. This worldwide partner is giving me much more – a bite out of its new online customer service qualification. (I’ll update on this early September once available.)

In addition to this, as a ‘thank you’ for our work, we’ve been rewarded with theatre ticket discounts.

Fanta-stic fluids

I’ve developed a penchant for a daily dose of Fanta (a drink I previously reserved for holidays). Produced by Coca-Cola, GamesMakers had a wide range of drinks to choose from when off duty.

Back to nature

Nature Valley had a much bigger presence than Cadbury’s. The official cereal bar supplier to the Olympic Games, after two weeks I’ve become programmed to enjoy a pack at least once a day.

But treats come and go, the two greatest memories from the Games are in the form of my uniform and the ‘thank you’ gift I was presented with this afternoon – a unique GamesMaker replica relay baton.

It signifies trust – something we all put in each other to do a great job as part of our teams. It’ll be special to me, always. But not everyone is as sentimental. You can probably pick up one from eBay. Top price is £150.

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Oddbins rebels against the Olympics

24 Jul

Just three days before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, wine merchant Oddbins has launched a rebellion campaign against the Games’ top tier sponsors.

The company, which has 35 stores throughout the country, is planning a counter-strike over the next three weeks – accompanied by campaign posters making consumers feel at home by wearing their ‘outlawed Olympics attire’. Essentially, all Nike wearing and Vauxhall driving, MasterCard holders will be welcomed in store with a 30 per cent off discount.

Oddbins’ managing director Ayo Akintola has fiercely stated that non sponsors, in the run up to the Games, have been treated like “beggars on the gilded streets of the Olympic movement”. However, he quite rightly mentions that he’s expecting some backlash from LOCOG as a result of the campaign, which last week published rules that no one may link to the London 2012 site in a “false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner.”

In response to Akintola’s rant, time will tell whether small businesses and non-sponsors profit during the Olympic Games. But, with an influx of visitors preparing to descend upon London, there’s an opportunity for everyone to seize. But, the question is – would consumers rather engage with a brand that is for or against the very reason they’re here?

Yes – the Olympics is going to cause disruption and the Olympics’ heavy-handed brand police have made headlines for the wrong reasons lately. But, as organisers have said time and time again, sponsorship is what allows the Games to take place. Let’s hope we look back at the Games as a highlight of the decade and beyond. Brands that take this approach will be better off than those that look the other way.

Selection of Olympic sponsors

Worldwide Olympic Partners: Coca-ColaMcDonald’s, P&G, UPS, Samsung, Panasonic, Dow, Atos, Omega, Acer, GE and Visa

London 2012 Partners: Lloyds TSB, EDF, Adidas, BT, BA, BP and BMW

Non sponsors include: Barclays, Nike, E.on, Virgin, HSBC, Canon and Carlsberg

Keep in line

16 Jun

As the tennis stars recover from Roland Garros, tennis fans are getting ready to join the queue to watch them do it all over again in Wimbledon, which starts 25 June.

I’ve been queueing for Wimbledon for the past few years and it gets better every time becuase of its community and camaraderie. This year brands have caught on that what happens outside the gates is just as important as the inside.

Sponsors – including HSBC, Evian, Slazenger and Sony – have worked with the AELTC to create a special Wimbledon Village next to the queue to house a hive of brand activity.

This is a great opportunity for brands to connect with a captive audience. Not to push product, but to promote personality. After all, it’s the simplest, and most effective, way to make your product or service look desirable.

All the sponsors need to do is add value to the queuers’ Wimbledon experience – whether it’s their first of tenth time – and they’ll be remembered. From free samples and branded Wi-Fi zones to keep people occupied to useful to exclusive player updates to generate excitement, as long as their events and messaging appeals to a diverse mix of people, it should work.

Here’s my advice: don’t be too young, don’t be too old. Unite people by talking tennis and you’ll be ace.

 

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