GMR to utilize Games hospitality to test leadership-type events
July 25, 2012 09:07 AM
The agency this week will open the GMR Hub, a 5,400-square-foot lounge and work area near Covent Gardens where staff, clients, prospects and sports industry guests can rest and spend time together during the Olympics.But GMR wants the Hub to be more than just a hospitality center, so it plans to host an invitation-only Olympic panel Aug. 7 titled “Up Next: From London to Sochi, Rio and Beyond.” Speakers on the panel include Claude Ruibal, head of global sports content for Google and YouTube; Ricardo Fort, head of global sponsorships for Visa Inc.; David Palmer, Procter & Gamble global head of sports marketing; Marcus Vinicius Freire, superintendent of the Brazilian Olympic Committee; and others.
“We want to do more industry-leading, thought-leadership events,” said Tony Fowler, GMR’s vice president of client communication and administration. “We want to give our partners and others a chance to gather for something different.”
Fowler said that if the event goes well, GMR will look to replicate it at other sports events where it’s done hospitality in the past such as the Daytona 500, where it throws an annual industry party, and the PGA Tour’s Players Championship.
The agency would likely rebrand all of its hospitality under the umbrella phrase “The Hub.” For example, its annual infield hospitality at NASCAR’s Sprint All-Star Race would become known as “The GMR Hub.” That event might have an industry panel tied to it, as well.
“We’re going to push not just for hospitality but try to expand the purpose of ‘The Hub,’” Fowler said. “In the past, it was pretty much just about a social event. We don’t just want it to be a social event. We want to provide a business service.”
The GMR Hub opens Friday at 85 Strand in the same building as the agency’s London offices. The agency renovated the second floor and outfitted it with TVs, couches, coffee tables and laptops.
It will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the Games.