Christopher Carroll talks strategy on the Ad Lib podcast with one year left before the Tokyo games
But Carroll did not take a break. Instead, the IOC launched several campaigns meant to keep the games top of mind with fans and sponsors until the opening ceremonies on July 23, 2021. “We were confronted with the reality of we need to speak to people now, we need to engage with people now, right here…that gave birth, for us, to do real-time marketing,” Carroll says.
Carroll, who joined IOC after holding marketing roles at Under Armor, Heineken and Coca-Cola Co., discusses the organization’s latest moves on the newest edition of Ad Age’s Ad Lib podcast. Earlier this week, on the one-year-to-go mark for the games—which are still called Tokyo 2020—the IOC launched a campaign called “Stronger Together.” It uses a unifying message at a time when the world is divided, both politically and physically, with global travel still at a near-standstill during the pandemic.
On the podcast, Carroll expresses confidence that the games will go forward—but he indicates that the IOC is right-sizing the event for the times: “The world is in a different place, so we have to consider reducing the impact of the costs…we need to simplify and reduce the complexity of the games so we can make sure it can happen safely.” He adds: “It is an Olympic challenge, clearly, but we are fully prepared to do so in a responsible and appropriate way.”
One key sponsor remains bullish: Procter & Gamble Co. earlier this week extended its deal with the IOC for the next four Olympic and Paralympic Games, through 2028, when the games will be held in Los Angeles.
Carroll also addresses the challenges of dealing with a condensed schedule: Tokyo finishes on Aug. 8 next year, with the Winter Olympics in Beijing starting less than a year later on Feb 4, 2022.
Says Carroll: “Essentially we have to simultaneously plan for the delivery of two Olympic games.”
This article first appeared in www.adage.com
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