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The Olympics as a B2B Marketing Proposition

The essence of sponsorship is the right of association, as enshrined in the International Chamber of Commerce’s definition:

‘Any communication by which a sponsor, for the mutual benefit of sponsor and sponsored party, contractually provides financing or other support in order to establish a positive association between the sponsor’s image, brands, products or services and a sponsored event, activity, organization or individual.’

The difference between the Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sporting events is that they are the only property that offers sponsors virtually nothing but the right of association.  Unlike other platforms, which will build in assets and benefits to their sponsorship package like perimeter board branding or event tickets, the only direct benefit you get from investing in a Games sponsorship is the right to use certain logos and marks.  Even then, these must be approved on a case by case basis. Everything else, including hospitality tickets, comes at an incremental price.

So Games sponsors cannot rely on a nice big advertising value equivalent from broadcast brand visibility to justify the fee internally.  They are forced to be much more disciplined in their assessment of how a Games sponsorship will create an acceptable return on investment. These sponsors must focus on who their target audience/s are, why partnering with the Games is relevant to them, how they are going to communicate those messages effectively and what is the desired behavioural outcome.

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Who wins when the Games go digital?

February 23, 2012 at 9:06 am PST

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are widely predicted to rapidly increase the adoption of digital services. It is set to be the most connected Games of all time, with record-breaking volumes of digital content being created, broadcast, and then shared via all kinds of networks and media.

The BBC alone will deliver 2,000 hours of live sport and create the equivalent of six months’ worth of coverage for its on-demand iPlayer service. One billion smart devices are expected to connect to the action and, with most people now having camera phones, the volumes of data they will generate is unprecedented. Attendees will engage with the Games in new ways, and people will be able to watch them on the greatest ever choice of channels and devices.

So who are the winners? Spectators will have an amazing time, and be able to share the experience with their friends. At work, there’s likely to be a lot of catching up with the action on PCs and smartphones, while businesses near the venues are sure to prosper. For content providers, it’s a chance to drive innovation by packaging content in new ways, and all the service providers will be delivering unprecedented network performance. Read More »

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World’s Biggest Collaboration

I’ve seen how sport can inspire and bring people together, transcending boundaries and borders. It’s just the same for the organisations delivering to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Organising London 2012 – the greatest show on Earth -- requires collaboration on a grand scale.

As the official network infrastructure provider, I lead the marketing team who are helping to make the Games happen. We understand the size, complexity and hard work that’s needed – the equivalent of running 46 world championships at the same time, with no second chances.

If spinning plates was an Olympic sport, I’d be tipping the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for gold. With everyone jostling for position, I’ve been so impressed by the way LOCOG protects sponsorship values and ensures we stay true to the ethos of the Games. Under pressure with only 200 days to go, working with LOCOG, other partners and sponsors continues to be both rewarding and challenging.

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Collaboration – a Catalyst for Change at the 2012 Olympic Games

As the nights draw in, next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games might seem a world away, but things change fast in the business world. So how prepared are you? Is technology helping businesses benefit when the Games end?

For even the most Games-ready business, the predicted absenteeism (28% during Sydney) and deluge of holiday requests (27% of staff requesting annual leave) is a headache-inducing cocktail for HR teams.

At Cisco, we’ve been involved with the Games for a while, so we’ve been busy putting plans in place. Like being flexible and agile during the Games, which sits well with our big push to be a more collaborative business. You’d expect us to demonstrate best practice, because we’re already supporting the Games with network technology. Plus, video, collaboration and business applications are at the heart of everything we do.

Flying less – our major departure

Some time ago, we cut internal travel by 90%, which radically altered attitudes to flying to business meetings, remote working and business mobility.

From this transformation sprung The Loop – an innovative, interactive, online forum for the UK and Ireland. This live Cisco TV show is now attended by 2,000 employees.

Globally, our use of Telepresence and WebEx has exploded. Now available across 1,010 rooms in 241 cities in 59 countries, one million Telepresence meetings have saved 191,000 trips and a staggering $817 million. Every month 700,000 WebEx meetings take place – 68% more than a year ago.

What works on the web, works for us

By sharing knowledge readily and richer interaction, we’re more productive.

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The role of digital media to the success of London 2012

November 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm PST

Many consider Beijing 2008 as the first digital Olympics; I agree as it was the first Olympics after the launch of YouTube, Facebook and the iPhone.  At a time Beijing was the most-watched Games in history, thanks to YouTube which generated 16.5 million views through IOC’s digital channel (International Olympic Committee).

In the past 4 years digital media has evolved significantly; that surely will make London 2012 take the digital sports experience to another level and make it the first mobile digital Olympics. Smartphones and tablets now outsell desktop and laptops. Today there are more than 800 million people on Facebook, 200 million on Twitter and 10 million on Foursquare (Source: Management Today) and more than 35 hours of video is uploaded every minute on YouTube (Source: Infographic: OneLily) , which makes YouTube the second most visited search engine after Google. Mobile, social media and Internet interaction have become essentials embedded into our daily behaviour and as such will play a vital role in London 2012’s success.

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