The report is based on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games in London. It addresses the efforts by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOCOG) in making sure that the event becomes a success. LOCOG has adopted various marketing practices that would enable it realize its ultimate goals.
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The report addresses the effectiveness of the selected marketing practices in the context of the 2012 Olympic Games. Based on the report findings, the marketing strategies adopted are effective and add value to the organization (LOCOG). For instance, they have increased awareness of the games not just in the UK, but also globally. The utilization of modern technology will aid the organization in deliverance of the games in style.
It will also ensure, marketing is done, and communication is articulate, cost effective realized, security, and awareness created. Challenges posed by the technology are system hacking, fake websites and tickets, and the costs incurred in the installation of the ICT system. It has been recommended that the LOCOG collaborate with the police to ensure that fake deals are limited. It should also filter the websites and create awareness among the citizens worldwide.
The 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics games are anticipated by a lot of people. The games have been seen as a way of promoting the culture and tourism industry in the UK. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOCOG) is one of the bodies that have been selected to foresee that the games are a success.
Although LOCOG is from the private sector, the organization has been receiving funds to enable it prepare for the games. As part of its strategic plan, the organization has the responsibility of marketing of the games and creating awareness as well. The games have opened an opportunity that would be used to market the UK’s tourism industry and its diversified culture.
The report explores the current marketing practices applied by the organization and the value added to the organization. It also investigates the challenges and opportunities presented by the changes in technology. Lastly, it gives recommendations about the available opportunities as part of gaining competitive advantage.
The LOCOG has rebranded the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics by adopting a new logo (BBC Sports 2007). The new brand logo sign has been designed in such a manner that it acts as an aspiration to the people around the world. The aim of the rebranding the logo is with a view to inspiring the young people around the globe.
The theme will attract many people who according to the chairman of the organizing committee believe that the Olympics will inspire people to be part of the sports, community events, educational events and the culture associated with 2012 sports (BBC Sports 2007).
According to the LOCOG, the new brand is anticipated to act as a marketing strategy that would see the organization raise £ 2bn (BBC Sports 2007). The design and the colour have been intertwined such that they make an appeal to the young generation. Instead of having the usual brand that incorporates the city, the new brand is based on diversity which is a marketing strategy to attract many people to join the Olympics in 2012.
Branding which is different part of marketing is aimed at creating an image to the targeted audience or consumers. A strong and favorable brand creates a desirable company’s image from the external part (Shahri 2011, p.51). Corporate brand is all about values, processes, practices and the people. The unique created by the branding strategy adds value to the organization since the message intended is passed on to the target audience (Shahri 2011, p.53).
Marketing rights protection
Like any other organization, LOCOG has been on the forefront fighting to protect its marketing rights. The protection gives the organization the chance to charge a fee to sponsors who would want to be associated with the Olympic Games 2012 (Laurie 2011). The transfer of the marketing rights to a third party will generate revenue to the organization. Rights transfers combined with sponsoring will enable the COLOG reach the outside world.
LOCOG has devised a pricing strategy that is aimed at making the tickets affordable to all people. Through marketing segmentation practices, the organization revealed a pricing structure in 2010 (LOCOG 2011, p.15). The tickets will be going for £20 for the different 26 Olympic Games (LOCOG 2011, p.15). Based on the pricing strategy, in July 2012, a ticket for a child who is under the age of 11 years will go for only £11.
For those who are over 60 years of age, tickets will be going for just £16 (LOCOG 2011, p.15). On the case of the Paralympics, among the 2 million tickets, the organization is planning to sell more than half for less £10 (LOCOG 2011, p.15). Through the low pricing strategy, the organization is in a position of reaching more customers through selling. The strategy according to Boone and Kurtz (2012, p.644) is intended to improve market share because in other large corporate as Wal-Mart stores, it has worked well.
The marketing practice adds value to the organization in the sense that the demand for the tickets will be increased. This can be supported by the preliminary research conducted by the LOCOG that found that the demand for the low priced tickets was higher compared to the supply (LOCOG 2011, p.15). The dream for the organization making huge profits as projected is achievable. According to the LOCOG the programme is part of generating revenue to the organization and its aim is to ensure that the stadia is full (LOCOG 2011, p.15).
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The Olympic tour
The COLOG is using the Olympic torch to tour different cities of UK. Through the tour, it will be possible to create awareness among the different people across the UK regions. The Olympic tour will act as a form of promotion used in road shows in the contemporary marketing practices.
LOCOG has entered into association with various individuals from various regions in the UK and these associations are forms of advertising for the organization. Wenlock and Mandeville were unveiled as Paralympics and Olympic mascots in a ceremony that took place in 2010 (LOCOG 2011, p.16). The duo as part of creating awareness has travelled to more than 200 places in UK.
Specific initiatives have been designed to market the Paralympics games. The initiatives were designed to educate and create awareness to the people. For example, during the International Paralympics Day held on September, 08, 2011, the function acted as a curtain raiser of the 2012 Olympics and the Paralympics games (LOCOG 2011, p.17).
During this day, the Paralympics would be launched and “launch of Paralympics ticket applications the following day” (LOCOG 2011, p.17). The launch was aimed at creating an international awareness of the 2012 games. An image is created about the people recognizing people with disabilities.
In turn, sales increase. The Channel 4, a UK favourite channel, was selected to host and be the domestic broadcaster of the Paralympics Games (LOCOG 2011, P.17). The value added is that the COLOG profile will be raised internationally as the Paralympics sports recognize international awareness. The station will also be used as the official channel to broadcast the Paralympic sports.
Sponsorship has in the 21st century become part of the marketing mix. Through the choice of different sponsors, the COLOG will be able to create the intended awareness and market the 2012 Olympics and the Paralympics games. For instance, the official sponsors of the Paralympics in 2012 will be Adidas, a world renowned brand. Although Adidas will get most of the recognition, by collaborating with COLOG, the intended goals will be meet.
Another sponsor chosen in 2010 is Sainsbury which will act as a tier for the 2012 Paralympics (LOCOG 2011, p.17). Subsequently, it would be possible to reach the required number of the fans and enable them sell tickets. For example, an estimated 33% of the UK’s population shops at the Sainsbury stores. This is a huge population compared with the awareness that would be created. The COLOG aims at creating diversity, culture and festival sports that would diminish the negative attitude that people have had about persons with disability.
According to McDonald (2007, p.588) sponsorship promotes products through communication channels. A mutual benefit arises between the sponsor and the sponsee. As the image of the sponsor is promoted, the company that has given its rights (COLOG) will also build its reputation and increase its corporate brand.
It also creates awareness among the different advertising channels. Olympic sponsorship was initiated in ancient Greece and it has since become part of the marketing mix (Kenyon & Palmer 2008, p.31). It acts as a strategic activity whereby public attention is gotten and realized (Tourism 2012).
The parties involved in the sponsorship mutually enjoy the relationship. For example, the COLOG would be able to market the 2012 Olympics while the sponsors will market their products. The sponsor’s objective during the event is “to draw upon the image and the aura of the Olympics to market themselves as leaders in their field” (Kenyon & Palmer 2008, p.31).
Through the use of internationally recognized companies like Adidas, British Airways, BP, BMW, and Lloyds TSB, the COLOG is in a position to market the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. So far, the COLOG has gained over £690 million as part of the sponsorship deal (LOCOG 2011, p.19). The organization has continued to get a list of sponsors who will increase the familiarity of the game as well as the market share for the sponsors.
Olympic Commercialization makes it possible for the organizations staging the games to acquired the required capital as well as gain some revenue (Kenyon & Palmer 2008, p.33). LOCOG without the sponsorship would not be in a position to market and host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games. Through collaboration with the international Olympic committee, COLOG will be able to market the event internationally.
COLOG has developed websites from where consumers can log in and read about the progress of the Olympic Games preparation. Through the website, the company is able to market UK and the games internationally. Through social media networks like facebook and twitter (Zarrella 2009, p3-4), consumers can follow the 2012 Olympic Games and get daily updates on the progress. Other than facebook and twitter, LOCOG is using You Tube to showcase films and clips associated with the Olympic Games.
The value added is that the organization will be able to market itself, UK, and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games internationally. The brand image and what the organization stands for will raise the profile of UK. The concept of internet usage as in marketing has been widely adopted because of its ability to reach large population at the same time. This make its reliable and cost effective.
The challenges and opportunities changes in technology
The advancement in technology brings both opportunities and challenges to the organization adopting it. In the context of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games, utilization of the new technology will pose some anticipated opportunities and challenges to the COLOG.
Technology will play an integral role in the 2012 Olympic Games (London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012, p.1; McLellan 2011). Technology has offered a platform for the organization (COLOG) to market the games. For example, through the social media networks like facebook, YouTube, and twitter (Powell, Groves & Dimos 2011, p.8), it has been made possible for the LOCOG to reach a large audience.
This is achieved by logging in to the Olympics 2012 website and following the site Powell, Groves and Dimos (2011, p.8) observe that social media has been regarded as a major modern marketing approach. Through You Tube, LOCOG will be able to reach millions of people who have internet connection in their mobile phones and at their homes.
After Mandeville and Wenlock were assigned to be part of Mascot Olympics torch bearer in 2007, more than 20, 000 people followed the mascots via twitter and Facebook (LOCOG 2011, p.16). The followers are given a platform to exchange ideas and opinions on the subject which is the Olympics 2012. The idea would benefit COLOG as it markets the Olympic Games as well as reaching a high consumer market base globally.
Since the launch of a mascot customizer in 2011, more than 10, 000 versions have been recorded (LOCOG 2011, p.16). For COLOG this is an indication of how the games familiarity is being realized. You Tube allows viewers to watch the mascot animated films that were created as way of marketing strategy. Reports show that the films have been viewed online for more than one million times. To COLOG, technology is playing a great role in making its marketing strategy achievable.
Through the use of the mobile phone, it is possible to “connect, enable, inform and engage” (London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012) the different stakeholders, general public, and the consumers. To gain a competitive advantage, LOCOG has adopted the use of technology to dispense the large amounts of information to different stakeholders involved. Technology is vital for the COLOG as it enables efficient and effective decision making process (London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012).
Information can be relayed to the intended party in the required time frame. Since LOCOG is responsible for the provision of education and awareness to people, PA systems, scoreboards and the video boards, technology will make it possible for deliverance of these services (London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012, p.1-2).
The organization will use local interconnectivity and networks to ensure that the public have access to events happenings in real-time. To the organization the adoption of new technology will be vital in ensuring success of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The internet provides an online portal or platform for LOCOG to sell the 2012 Olympics tickets. Online shopping has become the latest form of shopping basket where consumers from different parts of the world can make purchases at the touch of a button. Online marketing and ticket selling is a cost effective and efficient venture. Costs incurred in printing tickets and funding distribution channels are reduced.
The LOCOG will be in a position to save finances through the technological venture. Customers can also buy accessories associated with the 2012 Olympic Games online. The latest technology will be used to scan any fake tickets and ensure security in the stadia (Bloxham 2011).
Technology change has so far posed the commonly anticipated challenge. Illegal online websites and hacking have already been witnessed (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2009, p.1-2). Based on a BBC report, a Norway based company was found to be selling the 2012 Olympic tickets at a price that was five times higher (Carter 2011). The consumers are easily duped and end up buying the tickets.
This heinous act dements the public image of LOCOG as well as the trust that the organization had built. To fully prevent the citizens from the bogus websites is a challenge to the LOCOG and the police (Jeavans 2011). According to the police reports, the websites are huge threat as they are run by huge cartels. This has forced the organization to invest more to filter websites that sell bogus tickets to the consumers (Jeavans 2011).
Lastly, COLOG faces financial challenges in adoption of new technology and making it to work effectively. According to the Parliamentary Office f Science and Technology (2009, p.1), the budget of £500m is estimated to cater for the games. However, based on the current financial crisis in UK and Europe, the value may have increased thus straining the budget of LOCOG. It is also imperative to note that the organization depends highly on sponsorships to enable the games a success.
Based on the report findings, it is clear that the LOCOG is doing its best to ensure that the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are a success. It has done its homework fully in ensuring that different marketing practices are adopted. Marketing the 2012 Olympic Games will not only attract fans but also tourists who will boost the economy of UK. It has created employment for many people so far and many are believed to benefit from the LOCOG efforts.
The organization has used marketing practices like sponsorship, branding, online marketing, promotions through Paralympics day celebrations and showcase, and the adoption of Olympics mantle to reach different people around the UK (Boone & Kurtz 2012). There is no doubt that the internet has played a vital role in the marketing practice.
On the other hand, technology poses a competitive advantage to COLOG. Through the use of social media networks like twitter and facebook, the organization has been and will be able to reach many people globally.
The platform offered by the internet will enable the organization make sales online reducing costs. It is also possible to market UK and the games online through the use of the social media networks. The organization websites offers updates on the progress of the 2012 Olympics preparations. Through effective information sharing, effective decisions will be made.
It is recommended that the UK government strengthen the rules and regulations to safeguard the welfare of COLOG. The rules would govern and regulate the way COLOG operates in executing its mandate. COLOG need to collaborate with the police in monitoring the bogus websites that impose as agents of COLOG in selling tickets. This would reduce the instances of consumers busying fake tickets.
Through filter mechanisms, COLOG will be able to monitor and disconnect websites that sell fake tickets at exorbitant prices. This will increase the faith and the loyalty of the consumers either from UK and other parts of the globe.
High security alert and protection for consumers is vital in making the games a success come September 2012. Lastly, the organization needs to create awareness on the presence of online fraudsters and conmen. This will reduce vulnerability of the consumers from falling into the tricks of the fake websites and dealers.
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