Archive for the ‘olympic park’ tag
Following the roaring success of my Jubilee inspired fact-based blog (well I learnt a few facts at least..!), this afternoon I felt inspired to forage for some energy based facts about the topic du jour; the Olympics.
Apart from EDF’s rather cool real-time energy usage graphs, and a collection of blogs on the Games’ sustainability credentials (here’s a rather good one that will be wishing they had Chris on tap for witty blog titles!), this actually proved harder than I anticipated. You probably already know that London’s Olympic Park houses the world’s first recyclable stadium, and you may have seen Timeout’s infographic of facts, but did you know that all athletes competed in the nude at the ancient Olympics? Thought not. Entertaining to know, but not exactly relevant to the E+I blog content! Here are a few other (kind of energy related) facts you might not have come across:
- In the ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic flame was ignited by the sun and then kept burning until the close of the Games. The flame fist appeared in the modern Olympics in 1928 in Amsterdam, with the Olympic Torch relay starting in 1936. According to this blog, the entire Olympic Torch relay in 2012 consumed the equivalent of 4,966 kilowatts, which is the same as a 40KW bulb burning for 124,158 hours, or just over 14 years.
- 200 kilometres of electrical cables – enough to stretch from London to Nottingham – were laid in two six kilometre tunnels built under the park, allowing 52 overhead pylons to be removed.
- 265km of utilities networks were installed across Olympic Park.
- The Olympic Park’s wind turbine will produce enough power for 1,000 homes.
- Over 4,000 trees, 74,000 plants, 60,000 bulbs and 350,000 wetlands plants were planted in the Olympic Park – the largest planting project ever undertaken in the UK.
- 20% of the Olympic site’s energy is from renewable sources.
- Michael Phelp’s energy consumption was said to comprise of 12,000 calories a day to get him to the Gold in 2008’s Beijing Olympics. Typically, the strength/power sports athletes (like weight lifting and shot put) eat the most, intaking between 2,800 and 6,000 calories a day, whilst gymnasts and divers need a mere 2-2,500. In ancient Greece apparently the athletes mostly ate cheese.
- At the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, silver medals were awarded to the winners and bronze to those coming in second. This isn’t an energy fact, but it is an industrial fact and therefore still highly relevant to E+I!
- Great Britain is the only nation to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games. Not an energy or industrial fact but I’m feeling patriotic. Please can we have one this year too?!
Reuters reports that Anthony Edgar, head of media operations for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), freely admits that he does not know what to expect at the London Olympic Games following the explosion of social media, with some 900 million people using Facebook in 2012 compared to the 100 million who used the site just four years ago at the time of the Beijing Games.
“Yes you can’t hold a camera when you’re running down the 100 meter straight and do an exclusive broadcast. That’s for the broadcasters,” he told Reuters in an interview. “But you can certainly talk about it. You can certainly take photos of it. And you can certainly write about it.
“We’re having to deal with things now that didn’t exist in Beijing, with a voice that wasn’t so loud in Beijing. Everyone is allowed to film who goes into a venue … but it’s for personal use only.”
[...] Fans inside a stadium will be allowed to use their smartphones to film Usain Bolt on the track or Michael Phelps in the pool, but they will not be allowed to upload it to Facebook in a ruling that may surprise many tech-savvy fans who now upload clips on a regular basis.
I can imagine a near-impossible task in policing that latter restriction. What will officials do at an Olympic venue when hundreds if not thousands of spectators are busy with their mobile devices uploading stuff? Manually try and prevent it? Not a chance. Turn off the networks? Hmm, good luck with that idea – someone tried something similar in the US last year, which didn’t really work.
As some are predicting data traffic of 60Gb a second at the Olympic Park primary venue in east London – equal to about 3,000 photos – here, concisely, is what I think we can expect:
- Anyone with a mobile device and a network connection will be using it, no matter what, to spontaneously share their text, audio and visual opinions of what they experience at an Olympics event.
- Athletes are people like anyone else, and want to share too.
- Everyone else, wherever they are – at home watching TV, in a pub, the office, on a bus or train or wherever – will want to do the same.
- If anyone can’t get online to share because of no network connection, they’ll do that whenever they can get online.
An IOC member reportedly told the BBC recently that “the Olympics is one of the oldest social networks that has ever been.”
In that case, I hope a pragmatic and common sense approach is adopted by the so-called ‘brand police’ with regard to such sharing – even after reading what the Olympic organizers have published about brand protection during London 2012.
Organizers, please do go after the ambush marketers and the thieves of intellectual property, but please let go of control and don’t smother free expression by everyone else, whose words and pictures will measurably add to and enrich the Olympics’ overall record.
And above all, notwithstanding the comedy of errors characterized by concerns about security and more during recent weeks, let’s just enjoy the amazing spectacle of these Olympic Games, wherever we are!
- The 2012 Olympics TV experiences look very good
- Olympic transformation
- The trouble is, the 2012 Olympic Games start in two weeks…
- Can you really control who says what about the 2012 Olympics?
- The 2012 Olympics: tech on a huge scale
The year 1996 was a great one for Nike. The brand spent millions on its Summer Olympics campaign, plastering Atlanta with ads and erecting a majestic Nike building to overlook Olympic Park.
Then, in an epic climax, American sprinter Michael Johnson broke a world record, crossing the finish line with a gleaming pair of golden Nikes strapped to his feet. He was later featured on the cover of Time magazine with those sneakers draped around his neck, along with his two gold medals.
Too bad Reebok spent $20 million to be the Games’ official sportswear sponsor.
Nike’s marketing victory proved an embarrassment for both Reebok and the event’s organizers. The incident prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to clamp down on ambush marketing and ever since then such incidents have been kept to a minimum.
But that’s all about to change. With London 2012 being heralded as the first truly “social” Games, this year’s official Olympic sponsors are more vulnerable than ever.
The business of sponsorships
The London Olympics are expected to be the most regulated Games ever in terms of protecting brand sponsors, and a major reason for that is the proliferation of social media.
Sponsorship is big business. The IOC has already raised $957 million from the Olympic Partner programme (TOP), which is the organization’s second-largest money-maker after broadcasting rights.
TOP includes 11 worldwide brand sponsors on its roster, each of which enjoys exclusive marketing rights for the duration of the four-year Olympic term. Another 14 brands are affiliated as official supporters and partners of the 2012 Olympic Games and are given similar privileges, including product category exclusivity.
The promise of sponsorship rights protection was one of the central reasons London won the bid for the Summer Games. The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act, passed in the U.K. Parliament in 2006, allows for “brand exclusion zones” to be set up across the city for the duration of the Games.
Extending one kilometre around venues, the zones prevent any brands that aren’t sponsors from displaying ads or logos.
The strong measures have stirred up controversy. McCann Worldgroup attorney Marina Palomba told BusinessWeek, “it’s the most draconian law so far in advance of an Olympic Games ever.”
When sponsorship meets social
Making matters more complicated are the online restrictions. According to ticket purchase terms and conditions, fans could be punished for taking photos or videos at the events and uploading them onto public sites. Access to wireless networks might also be restricted, as well as the size of cameras spectators can use.
The IOC’s social media guidelines [PDF] also stipulate that athletes are not allowed to comment on the performances of their competitors, nor are they “permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise any social media platforms or on any websites.” Unless, of course, that brand is a sponsor.
In other words, Michael Phelps will be out of luck if he wants to tweet about the Subway sandwich that propelled him to victory. Too bad he didn’t eat a Big Mac instead.
These rules may have been easy to enforce four years ago (back then the IOC didn’t even bother with a social media policy), but with nearly a billion people on Facebook, 140 million on Twitter and 18 percent of the world owning smartphones (not to mention netbooks and tablets), the IOC’s efforts may be too little too late.
Brand exclusion: Helpful or harmful?
Nevertheless, the IOC remains enthusiastic about the engagement opportunities that social networks offer sponsors and fans.
The committee has created the Olympic Athletes’ Hub where fans can follow the online lives of their favourite sports stars. It funnels content from the various social media feeds of Olympic athletes into one platform, making monitoring easier for everyone – including the IOC, of course.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee, told The Guardian that the need for regulation to prevent ambush marketing is more pressing than ever.
Of course, regulating and monitoring virtual spaces will be more of a challenge than at the physical venues. IOC Head of Social Media Alex Huot warns that mechanisms are in place in case of online copyright infringement but acknowledges the impossibility of monitoring every tweet and webpage.
“We don’t police but we’re working closely with all the platforms to make sure the trademark and (internet protocol) rights are respected,” he told The Guardian.
Is sponsorship worth it?
With social media making it easier than ever for unofficial brands to piggyback off the success of international events, it stands to be asked: Are sponsorships even worth it anymore?
A 2010 case study published in the Journal of Managing and Marketing Research found that sponsor-event fit and brand equity were the most important factors when measuring the long-term financial success of brand sponsors, and that so long as those factors are in place, sports sponsorship remains lucrative.
That’s especially true for high-profile international events like the Olympics, which have long been considered the Holy Grail for brands. The event tends to have a “halo effect” and brand sponsors bask in those good-vibes associations.
But as Mary Lou Costa argues in a 2011 Marketing Week article, the halo effect can go both ways: People often assume popular brands are affiliated with international events.
And with social media making it easier to spread content, non-affiliated brands have the potential to practise online ambush marketing.
Meanwhile, the Olympics and their sponsors are getting a bad rap for the very regulations meant to protect them.
When tickets went on sale for London, Visa was the only method of payment available, causing a media uproar. Then, the company replaced the 27 existing cash machines at the main Olympic venue with 8 of its own, subsequently facing allegations that Visa is intentionally starving the venue of cash.
So how does one measure the value of building brand equity through sponsorships against the potential bad press that results from strict protections? One way is through dollars.
Local sponsor Adidas hopes to make more than $156 million in U.K. sales from the deal. Those earnings alone might be worth the investment.
But just like in 1996, main rival Nike is hoping to upset Adidas’ strategy with a plan of its own. The brand has opened a giant concept store at a shopping centre near the main venue, which nearly 70 percent of ticket holders are expected to pass through on their way to an event.
Nike has also found a clever way of bypassing the online restrictions with their #MakeItCount campaign, which pulls off the balancing act of referencing the Games without actually mentioning them.
The result? According to a study by BrandWatch, Nike is outpacing Adidas as the apparel brand most associated with London 2012.
Finally, in a recent online poll, The Guardian asked responders to vote whether Olympic sponsors should be protected with strict laws: 91 percent voted “No.”
So let the games begin and may the best brand win.
British Airways has an unexpected bit of advice for its typical customers: Don’t fly. The message is aimed at Brits who might be tempted to skip the country during the madness of the London Olympics. The airline, official carrier of the games, describes its push as "tongue-in-cheek," and spokesman Frank van der Post explains: "We’re rallying the country to get behind Team GB and ParalympicsGB to capitalize on home advantage. … We are encouraging every extra clap and cheer we can get." The effort is being promoted with the hashtag #HomeAdvantage, which is featured in a giant painting near Heathrow and in the recently unveiled TV spot from BBH. To the strains of The Clash's "London Calling," a British Airways jet taxis off an airport runway and drives through the streets of London, past familiar landmarks, winding up at the city's Olympic Park. Judging from the ad, Brits would indeed be best served staying home and rooting for their athletes. Why bother booking a flight if the plane just winds up stuck in traffic on the M1?
While Tom Daley was the star attraction at the FINA Diving World Cup 2012 at Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park, title sponsors and H+K longstanding client Visa were one of the big winners as they topped City AM’s Repskan’s Olympic Media Buzz table.
The table, complied in association with Repskan.com, the media monitoring and analytics platform, measures the relative Olympic media buzz around the partners for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Visa topped the rankings in the run up to the debut aquatic international event in the Olympic Park.
On top of their top tier sponsorship of the Olympic movement that is currently in its 26th year, Visa has agreed to sponsor six of the Olympic test events which offer them not only an unrivalled opportunity of raising awareness of their Olympic relationship but also an invaluable opportunity to engage with the media and the public at the iconic Olympic venues.
Today, the IHG Newham team launched the opening of IHG’s newest hospitality training Academy at the soon to be open Holiday Inn London – Stratford City. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg attended in support of the announcement that IHG is creating nearly 3,000 new jobs over the next three years, including over 1,100 new jobs this year.
The pictures include Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, IHG Chief Executive Richard Solomons and students from the IHG Academy course overlooking the Olympic Park in what will be the gym at the soon to be open Holiday Inn London – Stratford City.
There are two sides to the story of Google’s move to create a massive, seven storey startup / developer hub slap bang in the middle of of Shoreditch, where so many London/UK/European startups seem to be congregating. Drawn by the cluster effect and the plethora of events in the area aimed at developers, Google’s move surely makes sense. But behind the scenes I happen to know that Number 10 has been lobbying for this kind of move for some time.