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Olympics behind the scenes

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Olympics behind the scenes

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In 2010, I hit the jackpot when I got an internship to work at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to work at two more Olympics in London and Sochi. These experiences forever transformed my life both personally and professionally.

Over the years, I’ve been asked, “what did you actually do during the Olympics?” People often don’t realize that the Olympics event is the Mount Everest of the events industry. The athletes get the fame and glory, but behind the scenes there is an army of professionals who make it all come together. Many have made it their career to work in the sporting events industry. I was a tiny participant in this complex ecosystem – specifically in sports marketing and hospitality.

For a local Learning Night event, I created a presentation which explained my job and shared some of my personal reflections.

In 2010, I hit the jackpot when I got an internship to work at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to work at two more Olympics in London and Sochi. These experiences forever transformed my life both personally and professionally.

Over the years, I’ve been asked, “what did you actually do during the Olympics?” People often don’t realize that the Olympics event is the Mount Everest of the events industry. The athletes get the fame and glory, but behind the scenes there is an army of professionals who make it all come together. Many have made it their career to work in the sporting events industry. I was a tiny participant in this complex ecosystem – specifically in sports marketing and hospitality.

For a local Learning Night event, I created a presentation which explained my job and shared some of my personal reflections.

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Olympics behind the scenes

  1. 1. Behind the Scenes at the Olympics Bay Area Learning Night Michelle Zhang
  2. 2. 11 Once upon a time, there was a girl…
  3. 3. 22 Once upon a time, there was a girl…who wanted to go to the Olympics!
  4. 4. 33 Many years later, it came true!
  5. 5. 44 In this presentation, I will share a behind-the-scenes look at the Olympics and my personal reflections Olympics and the sports marketing industry My job during the Olympics Memories and reflections
  6. 6. Olympics and the Sports Marketing Industry 1
  7. 7. 66 The Winter and Summer Olympics at a Glance Nations Competing 82 204 88 Athletes Participating 2,566 10,820 2,873 Number of Sports 15 26 15 Number of Events 86 302 98 Total Budget (incl. infrastructure) $9.2B USD $14.5B USD $51B USD Operating Budget $1.9B USD $2.2B USD $6.5B USD Domestic Sponsors 57 ($700M) 42 ($1.1B) 8 ($1.3B) Worldwide Sponsors 11 11 11
  8. 8. 77 The 11 Worldwide Partners each pay ~$100M to get exclusive marketing rights at the Olympics And they each spend 3-4x beyond the fee in order to “activate” their sponsorship For more info on the Worldwide Partners (TOP Programme): https://www.olympic.org/sponsors
  9. 9. 88 Visa has been a Worldwide Partner since 1986, and has signed on to sponsor until 2020
  10. 10. 99 Not only does Visa have exclusive branding rights, but it is also the only accepted credit card at Olympic venues
  11. 11. 1010 Corporations use sports marketing as a strategy to enhance branding, grow their business objectives, and reward their key relationships Visa leveraged the Olympics sponsorship to grow it’s share price, and also created a world class hospitality program to enhance its business relationships with consumers and clients Sponsorship Benefits Brand equity: Increase consumer good will and esteem towards the sponsor Business objectives: Enhance core business objectives such as revenue goals or brand awareness. Showcasing: Showcase technology, products, or services at the world’s biggest event Defense: Exclusive rights keep the competitors out Stakeholder rewards: Maintain key business relationships and motivate employees via hospitality arrangements (advance tickets, VIP access to venues, discounted hotel rates) .
  12. 12. 1111 Visa’s Hospitality Program is the epitome of hospitality, every last detail is planned and perfected Clients Consumers Guests Retail Banking C-suite Executives, sponsored athletes Visa sweepstakes winners from all over the world Tickets VIP seats at most anticipated events VIP seats at events Accommodations 5 star hotel 5 star hotel Flight Arrivals & Departures Personalized escort service by Visa staff Personalized escort service by Visa staff Transportation Private coach bus to and from all events Unlimited public transportation card Food Fancy meals in private Visa lounge in the hotel Daily stipends on prepaid card Amenities Olympics swag + Special events like meeting athletes Olympics swag
  13. 13. 1212 To ensure the success of the program, Visa hires an events team to plan and execute the program and bring world class hospitality service Hospitality! Operations.
  14. 14. My job during the Olympics2
  15. 15. 1414 Glorified tour guide in 2010, and shared Vancouver with the world All smiles in front of the guests Behind the scenes
  16. 16. 1515 Data machine in 2012, making full use of my “consulting” skills What people thought I was doing What I was really doing
  17. 17. 1616 Transportation lead in 2014, and built bonds with local Russian staff Down at the Olympic Park for ice sportsUp in the mountains for snow sports
  18. 18. Memories and reflections3
  19. 19. 1818 Why would the world keep doing the Olympics even though it makes little economic sense? It is humanity’s way of going… YOLO!
  20. 20. 1919 The Olympics strengthened my identity as a Canadian
  21. 21. 2020 The Olympics made my dream come true. I met my ultimate sports idol, Michelle Kwan! Touched Michelle Kwan’s skates in 2010 Met her in person in 2014!
  22. 22. 2121 The team of people you work with become your family Link to video of when we jumped into the Black Sea to celebrate the end of Sochi 2014
  23. 23. 2222 Relationships matter, and they paid priceless dividends I never would have predicted From working together at London 2012 To working together at LinkedIn!

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