BOSTON, April 2—While most of the advertisers who bombarded viewers of the 2000 Super Bowl with ultra-hip, almost incomprehensible dot-com commercials are now queuing to receive unemployment benefits, at least one has integrated sports marketing effectively into its ongoing communications strategy. That one, global careers Internet site Monster.com, this week tapped Boston’s Cone to handle its sponsorship of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Monster.com will be the first-ever dot.com sponsor at the Olympics, and is working with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, the United States Olympic Committee, U.S. Olympians, and thousands of Olympic volunteers to provide comprehensive career management tools to the Games—including a website that will help athletes find part-time employment while they train, and will also help them make the transition back to regular work after the Games.
“The Olympic Games have always represented the ultimate challenge in achieving goals and our involvement represents our ‘Never Settle’ philosophy toward life and career,” says Kellie Buckley, director of public relations for Monster.
Monster is working with Cone on a variety of initiatives designed to strategically leverage the company’s sponsorship and to solidify its global brand positioning. For example, Monster has created a Team 2002 Online Community (www.saltlake2002.com), which will administer the training program for Olympic volunteer staff.
In another initiative, Monster is creating TeamUSAnet, an online community for U.S. Olympians and U.S. Olympic team hopefuls designed to assist athletes in their post-Olympic lives and careers. This site will be a resource for the vast majority of athletes who compete in the Olympics and seek part-time employment opportunities while they train, and for athletes who seek help transitioning into the working world after their Olympic careers are over.
The company clearly intends to use its Olympic sponsorship as an opportunity to showcase its technology and its expertise in career counseling, unlike many sponsors, who believe that having their name on an event is sufficient.
“From leveraging Olympic sponsorships to conducting on-site media relations and events to working with Olympic athletes, Cone has unique qualifications and a proven track record in managing the diverse aspects of a company’s Olympic involvement,” says Cone CEO Carol Cone. “Our strong heritage in brand-building and marketing consumer products aimed at an active lifestyle, coupled with our premier knowledge of the interactive space, makes Monster’s Olympic business an ideal fit for us.”
Cone’s Olympic experience includes work of the Games in Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, and Lake Placid. The firm has worked with athletes including Shaquille O’Neal, Picabo Street, Venus Williams, and Bonnie Blair and with sponsors such as 3M, Reebok, Bausch & Lomb, and Kodak. Bill Fleishman, executive vice president, will lead the account.