Former IOC executive calls London ‘greatest Games yet’ – and rates his Olympic winners and losers
One of the key figures in the creation and development of the International Olympic Committee's commercial programme has described London 2012 as “the greatest Olympic Games yet”.
The comments form part of a wide-ranging dissection of the commercial aspects of London’s Games written by Michael Payne, the former IOC marketing director who now consults for many Olympic sponsors and broadcasters, which will be published in full in October’s SportsPro magazine.
Payne was instrumental in negotiating contracts with several Olympic TOP partners and broadcast agreements with the likes of NBC and EBU that helped to deliver London 2012. He is also credited with introducing branding discipline in Olympic host cities.
‘Operationally they worked as well as any Games’, Payne writes of London 2012, ‘especially when you consider the Games took palace in one of the world's busiest capitals.’
'The baton has been passed and Rio 2016 is just around the corner to build on London’s great success’
Payne’s review of the Games evaluates and grades London 2012 in various areas, including broadcasting. partnerships, ambush marketing, licensing, ticketing, brand, the torch relay and social media. He also reviews the best and worst performing Olympic sponsor campaigns.
One area where Payne believes Locog might have been more innovative was in the implementation of its commercial programme, which raised UK£700 million of domestic sponsorship.
Although Payne describes the final total as “strong” he writes: ‘There was little fresh thinking on marketing rights development for partners - no packaging of local media assets, or engaging with partners to truly expand the Olympic experiential agenda outside of the immediate Games window.’
‘A bigger marketing picture view, integrated into the original launch of the programme could have driven even stronger financial returns.
‘While the process for selecting partners was excellent, the subsequent servicing of partners lacked the vision to support the partners to fully realise the true potential of the Olympic brand and related marketing assets.’
Payne, however, believes the Olympic bar has been raised by London 2012 ahead of the next summer Games. He concludes: ‘London 2012 was a triumph. Of course it wasn’t perfect. No event on the scale of the Olympic Games could be.
'There is still room for improvement in a number of areas. The baton has been passed and Rio 2016 is just around the corner to build on London’s great success’.
Michael Payne's comprehensive commercial review of London 2012 - including his winners and losers - is published in the October edition of SportsPro. To subscribe today click here.
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