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Volume 7 No. 149
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Eurosport Unveils Olympics Logo, Aims To Build 'Stronger Connection'

New Year’s Day did not only mark the beginning of '17 for Eurosport but also the official start of its Olympic journey. The pan-European sports network, a division of U.S. company Discovery Communications, celebrated the moment by unveiling a new Olympic Games broadcast logo during its coverage of the Four Hills ski jumping tournament event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday. The logo combines the identity of Eurosport with the five Olympic rings. The network will use the logo during all Winter and Summer Olympic sports broadcasts across its various platforms. “It’s always a challenge when you take on a big sports rights in that people are unfamiliar with seeing something on your channel, with your commentators and style,” Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton told SBD Global. “It’s a sign of what we are going to do differently because ... we can do so much more around Olympics for so much of a longer period. We start covering the Olympics stories now.” Eurosport holds the exclusive Olympic broadcast rights across 50 European countries and territories for the next four Olympic Games after reaching a €1.3B deal with the IOC in '15. In addition to unveiling a new logo for its Olympic sports coverage, the network also premiered its new Olympic Games film, called “Millions of Journeys, One Destination.” The film follows two Olympic athletes from childhood. “Journey is quite important to us,” Hutton said. “What we can do differently is show the whole journey.”

BUILDING CONNECTIONS: Eurosport’s goal is not only to show the live sports events but also build a stronger connection between athletes and viewers. The channel’s previously announced documentary series featuring Lindsey Vonn’s journey back from injury is part of this new identity. “We can genuinely follow the athletes through and try and build the identification between an audience and athlete that makes you care more,” Hutton said. “And if we can have people care more by the time it comes around to PyeongChang then we have delivered a really good job.” Eurosport’s association with the Olympics also shows the change of philosophy within the network since the takeover by Discovery, Hutton added. After previously covering niche sports, Eurosport is now looking at the big sporting events and personalities in its lineup. The channel is already known as the home of winter sports across the continent, but it also has long-term deals in place with the IAAF and FINA. Further additions to its Olympic sports rights portfolio are always possible, Hutton said.