More on the In­ter­net, more on mo­bile, says advertiser to the IOC


A lead­ing advertising ex­ec­u­tive told the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) on Sun­day that the Olympic body needs to stay rel­e­vant with the younger gen­er­a­tion and con­cen­trate more of its con­tent on the In­ter­net and via mo­bile de­vices.

Martin Sor­rell, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of advertising agency WPP, said the IOC was in a unique po­si­tion be­cause its big­gest as­set was its live con­tent.

“Live sports cov­er­age is the last bas­tion of high-value tra­di­tional pro­gram­ming,” Sor­rell said, adding that most con­sumers want to watch videos when and where they choose.

“But they can’t do that with live sports. Its power is its im­me­di­acy.”

Sor­rell also told the IOC that it needs to stay cur­rent by in­creas­ing its on-de­mand con­tent and so­cial media.

“It’s crit­i­cal to find your voice more than just 17 days ev­ery two years,” Sor­rell said, re­fer­ring to the ro­ta­tion of Sum­mer and Win­ter Games. “The time is now to en­gage and in­spire, and the Olympic Chan­nel’s time has come.”

Last year, the IOC backed the launch of a dig­i­tal chan­nel to pro­mote Olympic sports be­tween the games and en­gage with young view­ers. The chan­nel will fea­ture ma­te­rial from the IOC’s ar­chives, trans­mit some in­ter­na­tional sports com­pe­ti­tions and of­fer a pro­mo­tional plat­form for bid cities.

Sor­rell said that while the new chan­nel was a good idea, its con­tent was cru­cial to its suc­cess.

“The IOC needs to cre­ate a range of con­tent that is more than archive and TV footage,” he said. “You have the ul­ti­mate story plat­forms — tell sto­ries about the ath­letes, their fam­i­lies, friends and dreams.”

And he stressed that most of the IOC’s ef­forts should be via mo­bile plat­forms.

“Mo­bile is a crit­i­cal fac­tor to en­gage the world,” he said. “If the IOC and media part­ners do not seize the op­por­tu­nity, it risks los­ing an en­tire gen­er­a­tion of new au­di­ences.”

He cred­ited the IOC with be­ing a leader in the spon­sor­ship in­dus­try.

“Just look at the lack of in-venue advertising, un­clut­tered venues are more at­trac­tive,” he said. “But the IOC needs to con­tinue to evolve, es­pe­cially in dig­i­tal, and the Olympic chan­nel can truly be­come a game-changer.”

Sor­rell said he ex­pected next big com­mu­ni­ca­tion would be vir­tual re­al­ity.

“Dig­i­tal lead­ers be­lieve that vir­tual re­al­ity could be the next big thing,” he said. “It al­lows peo­ple from re­mote lo­ca­tions ... to ex­pe­ri­ence a 360-de­gree video and sound of a dis­tant event as if I was present there in per­son, vir­tu­ally.”

He said the tech­nol­ogy could be­come real time in the fu­ture.

“You could put on a pair of gog­gles as though you were an ath­lete in the sta­dium, bring­ing peo­ple to the ath­letes,” he said.

He stressed the im­por­tance of stay­ing in touch with so-called Gen­er­a­tion Z and those born even later.

“In the new world of media you also need to com­pete on a dif­fer­ent plat­form and in a dif­fer­ent way if you want to stay rel­e­vant to young peo­ple” he said. “The need to en­gage with youth has never been more ur­gent.” the tool

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