A free, daily e-publication dedicated to the business of TV Sports, Cynopsis: Sports is delivered to more than 49,000 readers. Every business day, Managing Editor, Chris Pursell, provides news and information necessary to succeed in this market - from ratings, sponsorship + promotions, digital fields and main event highlights.
Aug. 3, 2012
"It's a scandal" said the clearly affluent Brit sitting next to me at lunch today on Carnaby Street. He echoed the words of the wonderful gentlemen who has been my makeshift concierge at my hotel. Over coffee this morning, the makeshift concierge told me how much he wants to take his kids to events and Olympic Park but couldn't secure any tickets.
Now I don't think that the British use of the word scandal at all equates to the American usage. I believe it captures a general sense of "this could be so much better."
Everyone agrees that it is a shame that tickets are not readily available but no one has stepped up to solve it…Is there a marketing moment to be owned by an Olympic sponsor?
I believe that one of the key tenets of sponsorship is to position the brand as a hero to consumers. I know that activation plans are planned years in advance with meticulous attention to detail.
But as marketers, we are learning that we must react to real-time events and opportunities. We must be nimble and use all the tools at our disposal to cut through the clutter, create buzz, solve problems and generate return on investment.
No sponsor is at fault here and perhaps that problem of ticket availability is overstated (even though I have encountered it myself) however the perception of an issue surrounding tickets does exist. As week one of the Olympics ends, I think a savvy Olympic marketer could generate tremendous acclaim in providing access to ordinary Londoners and visitors.
August 2, 2012
Olympics organizers have cut through the clutter with a stunningly simple part of their visual identity system- the use of the color pink.
When utilizing the London Underground, you are quickly trained to look for colors that signify your train route – the blue line, red line etc. Above the routes on the train are hot pink graphics that indicate a stop for an Olympic venue. Signage guides you as you exit and leads you to the competition.
I was fortunate enough to attend volleyball at Earls Court, which is a 15-minute meandering walk from the Tube stop through a neighborhood to the facility. I had no problems with clearly-marked pink signage guiding my way. To ensure I didn't get lost, I was also guided by the ever present "travel ambassadors" clad in, you guessed it, pink jackets and hats.
I also have done some souvenir shopping and Visa's smart activation around the shopping bags is causing a buzz. The bags feature Team Visa athletes engaged in their competitive activity from British athletes like Louis Smith and Shanaze Reade to American athletes like Michael Phelps and Lopez Lomong. The bags are visually stimulating and people want them. They are conversation starters and excellent examples of simple, compelling activation.
Today has been a gorgeous day so I took full advantage of it with a long walk. In my travels, I passed Buckingham Palace, went through St. James Park, past Westminster Abbey, through Tredegar Square and back up to Soho. St. James Park hosts several events, including road races and the ever-popular beach volleyball. The park was filled with people from all over the world taking in the beautiful day. Close to Buckingham Palace is a stretch of road featuring massive Union Jacks and London 2012 flags. Part of the park is closed because of ongoing venue usage and preparation.
I was reminded today that each host city also hosts a cultural Olympiad in conjunction with the sporting competition. I happened upon the beautiful work of British artist Eleanor Cardozo in front of the ancient Westminster Abbey. Herself a former gymnast, Cardozo’s beautiful bronze sculptures are clearly inspired by athletes and their placement in front of a historic landmark will be an incredible London memory for me.
August 1, 2012
Adam Zimmerman’s initial impressions upon arriving in London for the Summer Games:
My trip to Olympic Park left me dazed, somewhat perplexed. The park wasn't open to the public. Ordinary Britons view the Games as "something that happens in Stratford" i.e. - something foreign, something outside the reach of ordinary Britons.
It seems a miss to not have public events. Conventional post 9/11 wisdom would hold that large public events are to be avoided, but something is lost by not allowing everyday citizens access to the inspiration that is the Games. I have the distinct impression that the Games are something "other" for the average Londoner. The rest of the city seems reflective of this- the popular and populated neighborhoods of Soho, Covent Garden and Kensington are devoid of activation- it is almost as if the Olympics are taking place elsewhere.
Activation is stunning on the tube (London system). Sponsors have fully utilized the opportunity to market to the thousands who will take the transit system. A standout for me today was PowerAde’s ad which incorporated clever LED usage- mimicking a can being sipped- and the signage reflecting the intake of liquid.
I spent time with Matt Farrell of USA swimming today. We discussed how the crossover success of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte may help the governing body of swimming. Amazing stat- USA swimming has phenomenal female participation at the grassroots level.
Took a memorable walk through Kensington Park and saw one of the tributes to Princess Diana - a moat filled with dancing, laughing children. A few minutes further, I saw the "serpentine,” the water barrier between Kensington and Hyde Park- and the site of the triathlon in a few days.
Off to volleyball tonight.