BRUSSELS—Burson-Marsteller and sponsorship agency Helios Partners have created an exclusive Olympic and sports marketing alliance. The two firms will focus on developing new business opportunities and relationships with Olympic sponsors and future bid cities around the world.
Helios Partners has worked extensively with the International Olympic Committee, Olympic Games organizing committees, sport federations, sports leagues and corporate sponsors while Burson-Marsteller has a track record in Olympic public relations support for bid campaigns, organising committees and Olympic sponsorship.
The joint venture will be led by Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Brussels; Terrence Burns, president and CEO of Helios Partners; and Frank Craighill, chairman of Helios Partners. The Helios team will also collaborate very closely with Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific in advance of the upcoming Beijing Olympics, teaming-up with BM’s regional CEO, Bill Rylance and managing director, Bryan Matthews, both of whom bring extensive experience working inside Olympic and soccer World Cup organizing committees in Asia.
“Winning and successfully implementing global Olympic and sports marketing programmes today requires an in-depth understanding of the sports industry and its key players,” says Thomas Nides, president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller. “Terrence and Frank have demonstrated an intimate knowledge of both dimensions.”
The 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver have already generated business opportunities for both parties in corporate sponsorship and brand development. BM is well placed in all three markets. It is one of the largest firms in both China and Italy, while its affiliate, National PR, is ranked number one in Canada.
“Over the past 35 years working in the sports management and marketing industry, I’ve learned that sponsors have to link sponsorship rights and benefits to their existing corporate goals and objectives in order to connect with their consumers on an emotional level, and nothing provides that emotional connection better than sports,” says Craighill.