Magazine article Marketing

News Analysis: Tactical Substitutions

Magazine article Marketing

News Analysis: Tactical Substitutions

Article excerpt

Delivering the Olympics takes different skills to winning them. Which of the bid team will stay on, asks Richard Gillis.

Now it has won the right to host the Olympics, Lord Coe's London 2012 bid team is replaced by a new body, the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOGOC). This is the organisation tasked with turning the bid team's promises into reality. It is also responsible for ensuring the London Games sticks to its pounds 2.375bn budget.

Historically, producing a financial success has proven difficult. Of the past eight summer Games since Munich in 1972, only two have done so: Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988. All the others suffered a loss or barely broke even. Last year's Athens Olympics cost pounds 6.1bn, double the original budget.

Marketing's role in helping to keep London in the black is substantial.

It is hoped domestic sponsorship will generate pounds 415m, with a further pounds 60m coming from licensing and merchandising.

Few doubt that there will be interest from companies wanting to be associated with the Games, and senior LOGOC executives will be key to converting this.

'If they gather a team of competent marketers they should have little problem in pushing open doors to corporate clients to talk about backing the London Games,' says Karen Earl, managing director of Karen Earl Sponsorship.

Team make-up

The financial demands illustrate the differences in ambition between the London 2012 bid team and LOGOC, and it will be interesting to see which of the original group remains with the project.

While LOGOC will need commercial experts, the bid team's role was in part a short-term branding exercise for the city itself. Because of this, the original management team was chosen for its marketing nous. Vice-chairman and initial bid leader Barbara Cassani turned British Airways' pounds 25m no-frills airline into Go, which ultimately sold for pounds 400m. She was supported by Keith Mills, who became chief executive of London 2012. He created the UK's two best-known loyalty schemes, Air Miles and Nectar. And David Magliano, a former advertising executive, previously held the highest marketing and strategy roles at Go and easyJet.

Another prominent marketer within the London 2012 team was Alan Pascoe, the former Olympian, who brought sports marketing expertise from his day job as chairman of Fast Track. …

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