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