Creating a Unified Global Brand Strategy for the Olympic Brand and Movement

Challenge

In response to concerns about the Olympic brand having been tarnished by over-commercialization of the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided it needed to better understand and define its global brand. Working directly for the IOC, our partners were engaged to lead the global assessment of the Olympic brand and create a marketing plan that both strengthens and more effectively deploys the power of the brand worldwide.

Solution

We interviewed the vast majority of the individual IOC members and numerous affiliate representatives (e.g., National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, Organizing Committees, sponsors, the media, etc.), to understand their concerns regarding the Olympic brand and Movement.  We also conducted primary consumer research in 11 countries in 10 different languages to uncover the major strengths and limitations of the Olympic brand, to identify commercial and non-commercial opportunities for the brand, and to develop future brand positioning options. The effort revealed remarkable consistency in the high esteem with which the Olympic Games were regarded worldwide, and reassured the IOC that the idealism of the Games and Movement was unique among all brands, offering a powerful and distinctive competitive advantage to sponsors.

Impact

Our efforts resulted in the development and launch of a powerful worldwide brand platform for the Olympic Brand and Movement centering on “Hope for a Better World” and “Dreams and Inspiration”.  We translated this brand proposition into The Olympic Brand Case, which described the positioning of the Olympics, highlighted its unique strengths and appeals, and described how the brand could best be used by sponsors to benefit both them and the Olympic Movement. Additionally, a number of new marketing programs were developed, including programs to grow the altruistic, non-commercial values of the Olympic Movement, and programs to protect and grow commercial sponsor, broadcast and licensee revenues.