Olympics must embrace Gen Y tech

The Olympic movement must embrace Gen Y and learn from the likes of YouTube and American Idol or lose an audience for life says WPP CEO.

Speaking to the International Olympic Committee, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP (the worlds largest advertising company by revenue), advised global sports leaders to release their exclusivity agreements and hand them over to the current generation. Sorrell continued, saying if your audience is online you must be online, that the IOC had to let them play with the content in their own way and should learn from the entertainment industry.

“Give content to youth in formats they want – short and fast, customizable and easy to share. Don’t deny it or file it in the ‘too difficult’ folder,” said Sorrell.

Saying the brand was strong, he cited the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a predictor of future trends. Users of NBCOlympics.com watched 70 million video streams in 2008, compared with 9.1 million for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. Sorrell said the online audience was more committed, spending twice as much time viewing as their TV counterparts.

Sorrell advised sports leaders were in jeopardy of being forced to sell their broadcast rights if they failed to understand the changing markets, thereby losing audiences.

“We must ensure the iPod, iPhone generation is tuning in, not tuning out.

Cadbury to sponsor 2012 London Olympics

LONDON – Cadbury is to be an official sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics in a £20m deal, which is likely to anger some health campaigners.

The London Organising Committee is set to announce the tier-two sponsorship deal with the confectionery giant within the next few days.

Cadbury will be able to use the Olympics as part of its marketing from January 2009 in return for a £20m donation.

The deal looks set to come in for criticism from some health campaigners especially in light of the promise by Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee for the games, that the 2012 Games would be built around getting young people fitter and more active.

Cadbury has caused controversy with its sports sponsorship in the past when it ran a Get Active! promotion that encouraged children to eat chocolate in exchange for sports equipment for their school.

A spokesman for Cadbury told The Telegraph: We would not do anything that would seek to encourage people to eat more chocolate.

London 2012 signed up seven tier-one domestic partners ahead of the Beijing Games — Adidas, British Airways, BP, BT, EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB and Nortel.

The Games will also be supported by global partners including McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Samsung.

Cadburys sponsorship deal comes amid news that it plans to cut up to 600 jobs as part of a cost-reduction programme.

It is getting rid of its four region structure in a move that will mean the departure of Matt Shattock, head of Cadbury in Britain and Ireland, the Middle East and Africa, and Rajiv Wahi, head of Cadbury, Asia Pacific.

Sales of a new range of Dairy Milk bars, following the gorilla ad campaign, also helped to deliver a strong three months to September 30.