Customer-obsessed marketing

Think Olympics Marketing Is As Simple As “Go America!”? Think Again.

Melissa Parrish
Vice President, Group Director
March 12, 2018

One of the guests I’ll be welcoming at Consumer Marketing 2018 in April is Jennifer Storms, CMO of NBC Sports Group. The other day, we were chatting about how much more complicated marketing for the Olympics is than most of us would expect. Here are a few things I was particularly struck by:

  • “The Olympics” is not a strong brand the way most marketers think of branding. Yes, most people know what the Olympics are — but it’s not enough to say that the US has lots of athletes in it and they’re going to be in a cool city. It’s the athletes’ stories that really matter — and that means a new approach with several new “brands” to highlight every two years.
  • NBC’s culture is uniquely set up for success. The Olympics weren’t Jenny’s only big project this year; NBC also had the Super Bowl. In other companies, you could expect the managers of each event to be at each others’ throats for media time, budget, house inventory, and creative talent. But not so at NBC, where employees and programs are aligned to allow for the necessary flexibility and prioritization to ensure success for everybody.
  • It’s not failure if you’re learning something. This is a mantra that Forrester analysts repeat all the time, too. While nobody’s thrilled if every goal isn’t achieved on paper, you can’t consider a program a total failure if you learn something that will help you get closer to those benchmarks next time. No matter what industry you’re in, that’s a lesson to take to heart.

I’m looking forward to hearing the whole story and asking Jenny some more questions about the complexity and excitement of sports marketing at one of the world’s largest media companies. If you’re in the audience, you’ll have an opportunity to suggest the burning questions in your mind, too.

Interested in hearing more? Join us at Forrester’s Consumer Marketing 2018 on April 5 and 6 at the New York Marriott Marquis. To receive a complimentary brand marketing pass, please email your contact details to events@forrester.com for the code.

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