POSTED: February 25th 2013

POCOG Marketing Director Lee talks about his billion dollar marketing plan

POCOG Marketing Director Lawrence Lee / SFC
POCOG Marketing Director Lawrence Lee / SFC

LAURA WALDEN and CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

February 25 – had the chance recently in Seoul to sit down and go in-depth with PyeongChang Organizing Committee Olympic Games (POCOG) Marketing Director Lawrence Lee and Stephen Chung, Manager of the Legal Counsel Commercial Rights Management Team about the crucial next steps for the 2018 Games’ marketing program. Worth about US$1.1 billion it is a tall order but imperative for the success of the Games to bring in these vital revenue streams.

President Kim Jin-Sun of POCOG and International Olympic Committee (IOC) and President Dr. Jacques Rogge signed an official marketing agreement January 30th launching POCOG’s ability to start the marketing program.

Lawrence Lee has a background with the governmental side of marketing as he worked with the Ministry of Finance and became involved with POCOG through the Special Act that was passed after PyeongChang won the Games whereby the government assists the organizing committee.

Stephen Chung came to POCOG from the private sector where he worked as an attorney so he brings legal knowledge to the marketing department. Together they are masterminding the marketing team to raise the high stakes target for the Olympic marketing revenue.

Lee said, “For the next steps obviously we will be heading straight for our clients. Our target demand will be around US$1.1. billion dollars and this will include seven to ten tier one sponsors and some tier two and tier three sponsors as well.”

Chung clarified that there will be a three tier system and tier one will provide more than half of the overall billion dollar target and these will include “national partners” in banking, communications, automobile, heavy industries such as ship-building, construction services, and a steel company. These will be major domestic sponsorships from Korean companies and with names such as Hyundai,

Second tier sponsors will be “national supporters” and probably include insurance and securities companies and the scale and volume of their marketing coverage will be taken into consideration.

Third will be “Official suppliers” and these will cover areas such as human resources, advertisers, and financial auditing companies.

“Tier three official suppliers will be mostly composed of value in kind (VIK) supports,” Lee affirmed.

Lee confirmed that meetings will start this month and they hope to have landed their first major deal within six months and this could com maybe through banking, automobile, and telecommunications.

In instances where there is only one contender per marketing category then there will be a negotiation, however if there are multiple companies vying for one particular category then negotiations will go into tender processes.

Electronics giant Samsung, led by IOC member Lee Kun Hee, is one of the TOP sponsors and as time goes on will probably be more and more involved domestically.

Korean Airlines led by the former chairman of the PyeongChang 2018 bid, Cho Yang Ho, is also a likely contender. Cho serves as vice-president of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC).

Hyundai Motors Group, Lotte Department Store, business conglomerate Hanhwa Group, Taeyoung Engineering & Construction, Korean Association of Newspapers (KAN), and SK Group who deals with chemicals, petroleum and energy all were behind the bid campaign and possibly will continue with the Olympics.

Rio Debrief

Lee attended the Rio debrief from the London 2012 Games in November and gleaned a lot of useful information through the International Olympic Committee Television and Marketing Services (TMS) through lessons and guidelines.

Currently they are working closely with the IOC and have been to the headquarters and IOC directors have been to the POCOG offices as well to develop a good working relationship.

Marketing Seminar

POCOG is also preparing for a national specialized marketing seminar and the timing could be end of March or early April.

Lee is especially excited to get the ball rolling and noted, “We’d like to invite any potential local sponsors from all of the tier categories. We’d like to provide them the information and meaning of Olympic Marketing and the benefit that we can provide them. There will also be general information about the Olympic Games so they can become familiar with the big picture.”

Chung added, “The Olympics is one of the best and most well-known brands in the world. Becoming a part of the Olympic Family is a privilege, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“We’d like to invite someone from the IOC TMS and one or two speakers from the Top Sponsors who can talk about their involvement. There maybe someone from Samsung as well as they are Top Sponsor.”

“It is designed to be a useful workshop where we can explain the meaning of Olympic marketing and how to exploit the sponsorship and the benefit packages that POCOG will provide for them. That way they will be well informed of the value of becoming an Olympic sponsor,” he added.

TOP Sponsor Involvement

Chung noted that now that the marketing agreement was signed with the IOC, POCOG will have a separate supply agreement with each of the TOP Sponsors.

Lee explained, “We will discuss how, for example, GE can help us organizing the Games and in the final stages we will define the supply and demand with them and discuss how they can help.”

Chung added, “Another thing we plan to do is to facilitate the TOP Sponsors’ relationship with the local domestic partners. We will have meetings bringing together all the partners on a regular basis [annually] to network with them.”

That way POCOG can fill everyone in on the progress being made in all the sponsor areas, share information and also take questions.

This would also facilitate connections with the local government if they want to network and also with the Gangwon Government where the Games will be hosted. That way if they want to get involved with any of the works with the venues that will be under the umbrella of the Gangwon Government.

Annual Targets

There is a master schedule for each of the sectors and the years leading up to the Games and Lee explained, “For example with marketing, for the sponsorship sales, we have milestones for each of the five years.”

Chung added, “We want to finish tier one first, then later move on to the second tier, then on to third tier. Our goal is to finalize all the tier one sponsors by the first half of 2014 next year with seven to ten sponsors.”

Merchandise and Mascots

Lee said that POCOG merchandising will be launched in three steps, the first being the end of this year for domestic merchandise. “The primary objective is to launch and brand our new emblem which might be end of April or the beginning of May.”

He added, “The second being 2015 when we launch our official mascot through a tender process and maybe a public vote. We may have a couple of mascots too like Sochi.”

In the meantime Olympic fans will be waiting eagerly to see the brand new exciting look for the PyeongChang 2018 winter Games. 

Keywords · POCOG · Marketing · Lawrence Lee · Stephen Chung · Samsung · Korean Airlines · Hyundai Motors Group · Lotte Department Store · Hanhwa Group · Taeyoung Engineering and Construction · Korean Association of Newspapers (KAN) · SK Group

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