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Not the end. Not even the beginning of the end.

April 24, 2012 at 7:21 am PST

Having worked on Cisco’s London 2012 programme for more than two years, it seems strange that the Games themselves will last just four and a half  weeks in total – which seems far too short for all the effort going in from everybody !

Thankfully, we see the Legacy component of  this partnership lasting for many years to come, and our “Building A Brilliant Future” programme has been designed to build a lasting legacy based on learning, skills, innovation and entrepreneurship that will hopefully create jobs and drive business growth particularly in SME’s.

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London 2012 – Leaving a Lasting Legacy for Science and Math

On Monday morning, I was at Claremont High School, in Harrow, London, watching as one of the architects responsible for building the Olympic stadium kept a class of 13 year olds enthralled about the design and engineering challenges involved.

Jo Smith from the firm Buro Happold was taking a lesson from Cisco’s  Out of the Blocks StemNet programme bringing real world examples of how lessons about chemical structure; mathematics and physics were all very much challenges the stadium designers and builders has to overcome when designing the stadium and other venues for this summer’s Olympics.

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Bringing the Olympics to life

When one is fortunate enough to work on as exciting and mammoth a project as the London 2012 Games, it is easy to forget that while it might take over your life, for others it’s a distant and somewhat unattainable dream.

Certainly LOCOG are working hard to try and expand the reach of the Games beyond London and make sure other parts of the country benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity the Games coming to the UK brings. The torch relay alone will ensure that 95% of the UK population will be within a one-hour journey of the Olympic Flame, and that will certainly help.

But just this week the impact we, as Olympic and Paralympic Partners can have on people’s experiences and perception of the Games, was brought very much to life via feedback we had from our partner Pearson -- who are working with Cisco on the Out of the Blocks StemNet programme. This programme was launched in January, using London 2012 as a catalyst to encourage children aged 11-14 to get excited about learning maths and science. So far over 4,000 UK secondary schools have received a set of free Key Stage 4 activity books.

Our colleague visiting a remote school in Lincolnshire was delighted to see the teachers using the Out of the Blocks books and how the children were excited not only about science and maths, but also for the Games themselves. As one teacher said:  “We’re in an out-of-the-way area.  The children have never seen a major event, and there aren’t any children in my class going to the Olympics – this Series brings it to life for them.”

Another said: “Endlessly kids say, ‘when am I ever going to use this Maths in my life?’  Well, this book shows you where and how…  The diving lesson sticks in my mind.  The kids are intrigued by the formulas – it makes them think how they’re useful in real life.”

Nice – now we have a chance of a lasting legacy!

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Taking Part – What Being a Part of L2012 Means for Cisco

Inspiration is a word we often see used in the media, news and corporate life.  If I remember my school Latin lessons correctly it literally means ‘breathing in’, that great sense of readiness we get when we take in a deep breath and pause, just for a second, before we apply ourselves with vigor and passion to some project or task. We can be inspired or inspire others and with our sponsorship of London 2012 I feel it and believe we are doing it to others.

In less than 200 days, the greatest show on earth comes to my country’s capital, London. It’s never happened before in my lifetime and in spite of longer life expectancies, it is probably never going to happen again. Which means not only do I want to savour every moment, share it with my family and friends but I also want to leave a permanent mark in terms of Cisco’s involvement. When the sound of the closing ceremony to the Paralympics is but a memory in the Olympic Park, I want Cisco’s investment in the Games to be inspiring future generations of athletes, students, entrepreneurs, business people and ordinary members of our community…both in the UK and the furthest reaches of our planet.

As a marketer, sponsoring a global event such as London 2012 is incredibly exciting and at the same time a major challenge. With so many other sponsors and the general media noise that builds up around the Games, how do you create a marketing strategy that has depth and stands out?

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The Right ‘Rights’ – Lessons from the Cisco London 2012 Olympics Sponsorship

Correctly conceived and creatively executed sponsorship is a powerful marketing tool.  Why else would the Fortune 500, along with millions of other businesses big and small, invest precious marketing dollars in the discipline?  As mentioned in my previous blog post, the first step in successful sponsorship is having clear objectives, whether those are aimed at brand building, commercial gain or stakeholder engagement.  Clearly articulated SMART objectives are a pre-requisite for achieving the second most important aspect of successful sponsorship – securing the right ‘rights’. Read More »

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