SBJ/September 1 - 7, 2003/Marketingsponsorship

NYC2012 turns to R/GA Web redesign to stand out in crowded field

NYC2012 will launch a redesigned Web site by the end of this year as it explores all viable avenues to stand out in a crowded nine-city field.

A multilingual site emphasizing New York's cultural diversity and preparation to become a worthy host of the 2012 Olympic Games is being developed by Robert Greenberg's R/GA agency, said Amy Stanton, NYC2012 director of marketing and communications. The site, replacing an existing nyc2012.com site, will be available in English and French. Other languages are under review.

The race for 2012 is unprecedented both because of the number of candidates and their stature as instantly recognizable, if not famous, cities. In addition to New York, they are Havana, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. Only the German candidate, Leipzig, which was designated despite competition that included Frankfurt and Munich, faces a potential identity problem.

The NYC2012 Web site already has a multicultural look, but the new edition will be multilingual.
Stanton pointed out that a Web site is one of the most effective mediums through which a bid city can extend dynamic, recurring messages or images to anyone in the world. NYC2012 officials also believe that an enhanced Web site will help keep New Yorkers and Americans in tune with the race and the bid's details.

Of the nine candidates, four do not yet have a dedicated 2012 Web site. They are Havana, London, Moscow and Rio.

R/GA has designed for clients such as Aveda, Ericsson, IBM and Nike.

EXODUS CONTINUES: The U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to outsource its licensed-merchandise sales operations has prompted the departure of another managing director.

Less than two years after she was hired, Teddi Domann left the USOC in August after declining a different job within the organization when her current job became a casualty of outsourcing, according to a source familiar with Domann's decision. Domann came to the USOC from the McDonald's Corp. in 2001, originally under the title of managing director of account marketing.

Her most recent job, managing director of consumer products, will be eliminated as the USOC continues to shrink its paid staff in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Domann wouldn't comment for this story.

Later this year, the USOC will announce that day-to-day administration of its licensed apparel and merchandise sales will be turned over to an independent contractor. The outsourcing includes operation of four retail stores at U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Chula Vista, Calif.; Colorado Springs; Lake Placid, N.Y.; and Salt Lake City.

In June, the USOC's acting chief administrator, Jim Scherr, announced that 18 unfilled positions had been eliminated. Additionally, four staff members lost jobs.

RING TOSSES: After assembling an independent ethics board, NYC2012 this week submits an ethics and compliance blueprint to the USOC, which will detail how the bid group will deter, monitor and address ethics lapses during the host city campaign. ... Expect an announcement this week from the USOC about a possible TV network deal for the reality series "The Cut." The USOC plans to produce the series, exploring the real-life quest by U.S. athletes to compete in the Olympics, with the William Morris Agency. ... The pending Dec. 1 emergence of a new national governing body for equestrian sports has cut at least one senior post. USA Equestrian is merging with the U.S. Equestrian Team after the federations agreed to end legal battles for control of the sport. USA Equestrian's chief fund-raiser, assistant executive director Kevin Burns, saw his job eliminated, effective this week. Burns is a former USOC regional fund-raising director. ... Disney is "very interested" in acquiring rights to the story of Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner, said his agent, Shep Goldberg of Proper Marketing Associates. Talks continue. ... USA Swimming is exploring the release of trading cards featuring 2004 Olympic prospects, through a deal with SI for Kids. ... Premier Management Group, a Cary, N.C., agency representing Olympic-caliber athletes, named Alison Barnwell vice president and director of Olympic marketing. She formerly worked in the USOC's marketing division in Colorado Springs.

Steve Woodward can be reached at swoodward@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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