Danny Rogers on PR: Going for gold - Let the games begin
This summer has demonstrated the unique power of sport to change people's beliefs and behaviours, something that has not been lost on marketing and PR professionals.
Myriad disability charities are trying to use the Paralympics to change public perceptions. They are featuring athletes in their campaigns and creating stunts around the Games, which they see as a rare opportunity – this is, after all, the second largest sporting event ever held in Britain – to get their messages across.
Even David Abraham, CEO of Channel 4, the official broadcaster of the Paralympics, said it wanted rights because "we saw it is an opportunity to change attitudes and minds about disability". But he also admits showing this sporting event was a way of changing perceptions about Channel 4, bringing it closer to the hearts of viewers.
He said: "It plays to the core [of Channel 4's public service broadcasting remit]."
Indeed many brands, marketing groups – even whole nations – are clocking the awesome muscle of sports marketing.
Last week, announcing its annual results, marketing services group Chime said it planned to transform itself "from a diversified group with an emphasis on public relations, into an international communications and sports marketing group". CEO Chris Satterthwaite told me London 2012 alone had increased the group's income by 64 per cent this year and that he would make further big acquisitions in sports marketing.
In a world of fragmented communications, sports offer compelling and unique global content. Two-thirds of the planet watch the Olympics, nearly half watch the English Football Premier League. Few other forms of content – even blockbuster movies – can engage consumers in such a way.
TV red buttons and hand-held devices such as smartphones and iPads have turbo-charged the engagement of the individual consumer. People no longer just consume sport, they share it with one another via video or social media chat.
Undoubtedly sport is changing the world. One just hopes it is the just and healthy causes that will best appropriate this marketing potential.
Danny Rogers is editor of PR Week
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...