SBD/Issue 176/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Visa Planning To Launch TV Series Starring '12 British Athletes

Visa Planning TV Series That Follows British
Athletes Preparing For '12 London Olympics

Visa is "planning to create its own ad-funded TV series following British athletes in the build-up" to the '12 London Olympics, according to Alex Brownsell of MARKETING magazine. The brand is "in negotiations with production companies and broadcasters about the programme, which would showcase medal hopefuls as they enter the final two years of preparations for the event." Visa would run the show "as part of its 'Team 2012' deal with UK Sport, under which it is 'presenting partner' of the British Olympic team." Brownsell writes the series "would mark a shift by Visa to more significant concentration on its Olympic association and kick-start a two-year marketing drive in the build-up to the Games." Visa following this summer's FIFA World Cup, which it also sponsors, will "adapt its long-running 'Life flows better with Visa' ad campaign to promote its Olympic tie" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 5/25).

CROSS-BORDER SUPPORT: SPORTSBEAT's Gerard Meagher reported LOCOG Chair Lord Sebastian Coe and Glasgow 2014 CEO John Scott, whose group is organizing the '14 Commonwealth Games in the city, have "signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate across a range of administrative and commercial issues." Glasgow officials "will shadow their opposite numbers during the Olympics and Paralympics to gain valuable first-hand experience, while London will also assist and advise with their volunteer program." LOCOG also will "facilitate access to their 30-strong and rising roster of commercial partners in a bid to help the Commonwealth Games hit their own stiff sponsorship targets" (SPORTSBEAT, 5/24).

SYMBOLS OF MEDIOCRITY? In London, Andy Bloxham reports U.K. Creative Business Ambassador Sir Terence Conran has "criticised the 'appalling' design of the mascots" for the '12 Olympics. Conran "suggested he would be embarrassed to hand out the mascots" while serving as an ambassador. Conran described the "one-eyed creations" as "appalling ... symbols of national mediocrity'" (London TELEGRAPH, 5/25).

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