POSTED: August 2nd 2015

Sir Martin Sorrell: The future of the #digitalolympics is all about adapting to change

Sir Martin Sorrell put his finger on the pulse of the budding Olympic Channel / IOC
Sir Martin Sorrell put his finger on the pulse of the budding Olympic Channel / IOC

LAURA WALDEN at the KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTER (KLCC) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the world's largest marketing communications group, WPP, gave the IOC precious advice about how to run its much anticipated Olympic Channel.

Sir Martin has been the CEO of WPP since its launch in 1985 and the Group's worldwide companies include J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Y&R, Grey, Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Kantar (including Millward Brown and TNS), Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Landor, Brand Union, FITCH, The Partners, AKQA and WPP Digital. 

The media magnate delivered the keynote speech at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur today, and was a lesson urging the IOC to be "brave and determined" in delivering Olympic Channel.

His word of truth rang loud and clear to an assembly that is going to have to embrace the youth  movement like never before in an ever evolving technology age.

He said, "Without question the IOC and the Olympic Movement must continue to evolve and attract youth, including vital new audiences in fast-growth markets... where your values and mission to make the world a better place through sport can and will change lives."

Change is a key word for the success of the venture and he advised the IOC to be on their toes, they must embracing this spirit of evolution if it wants to stay engaged with future generations in a rapidly changing media landscape.

The IOC Olympic Channel is projected to be launched as part of Agenda 2020 in 2016.
"You need to evolve to new consumption behaviours in both younger demographics and in fast-growth markets, more online and more mobile," he said. "The challenge will be to deliver a solution that reaches this new audience, linking to platforms they are already engaged with and extending the window of the Games outside the two- or four-year period. You have to get more continuity into the offer. The world is ready for a mobile first social content platform united under a powerful purpose that resonates with people around the world. And the IOC has the potential to create just that."
"As for the Olympic Agenda 2020 process aimed to let new ideas and fresh thinking into the Movement, you the IOC have taken a very bold step to create your own media platform through the Olympic Channel. My advice to you, if I can be so bold, is to be brave, is to be determined, is to be proud to be delivering the future of the Olympic Movement through this new medium."

His advice to the IOC was to "use these Games as an incubator, as an accelerator and as a way of understanding what young people want and develop in that way."

More and more the IOC finds itself in a situation where the demands of the technological age have changed the face of everything. 

Things have changed and in order to protect the precious brand the IOC is going to have to embrace a vertiginous learning curve and get ready to take the Olympic Channel into the most cutting edge technology available to meet the youth demand.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · IOC · Sir Martin Sorrell

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