Samsung Olympic Sponsorship
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Samsung Olympic Sponsorship

Cohn & Wolfe (C&W) Sydney Australia developed and implemented an integrated public relations program for Samsung Electronics’ sponsorship of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Paul Holmes

 

Cohn & Wolfe (C&W) Sydney Australia developed and implemented an integrated public relations program for Samsung Electronics’ sponsorship of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. C&W embraced the challenge and delivered a PR program unlike any other Samsung had implemented.  The program not only exceeded the clients’ expectations in terms of publicity generated, but met the business objectives set by Samsung in terms of generating sales in key markets and in creating awareness of Samsung’s wireless telecommunications capabilities.  Samsung Vice President of Olympic Projects summed up Cohn & Wolfe’s PR efforts by stating: Samsung's Olympic PR program was the most successful ever in the company's history.”

OPPORTUNITIES 

To build the Samsung brand within the heavily saturated telecommunications market worldwide. 

To leverage the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as a platform to drive Samsung’s new brand promise, “Samsung Digital, everyone’s invited” and showcase Samsung’s world-first digital mobile phones. 

CHALLENGES

Educating Samsung on the cultural differences between Korea and Australia, and convincing the client to accept program recommendations relevant to Australia.

Timing - decisions on programs and activities took much longer than would usually be the case for a Worldwide sponsor who had participated previously. The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was the first Summer Games that Samsung was involved in, consequently there was much to learn from the experience.

Developing a PR program that was creative and original enough to break through the clutter and hype surrounding The Olympic Games. 

Ensuring that the various PR programs implemented in Australia would be relevant to both local and international media.

RESEARCH, THE PLANNING PROCESS & PROGRAM OBJECTIVES 

C&W as a global agency has a long and successful history of working with Olympic Games sponsors. Samsung appointed Cohn & Wolfe in May 1999 to develop and execute its Sydney 2000 Olympic Games marketing program. 

Cohn & Wolfe had access to Samsung’s extensive brand research as well as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games consumer research. During the Games Samsung conducted extensive on-site qualitative and quantitative research of visitors to its facilities to gauge the impact of its Olympic programs. 

Cohn & Wolfe developed, staged and announced Samsung’s US$200 million global Olympic marketing campaign ‘one year to go to the Games’ in September 1999. From October ’99 to May ’00 was spent developing and planning the Games brand presence activities and supporting promotional campaigns, including a detailed issues management plan.  

BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Raise brand awareness of Samsung as a Worldwide Olympic Partner and telecommunications leader

Leverage the Olympic sponsorship to build relationships with local business partners and drive sales of mobile phones

COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES

Raise brand awareness of Samsung as a Worldwide Olympic Partner and telecommunications leader

Generate media coverage on all projects associated with Samsung’s Olympic Sponsorship Program

STRATEGIC APPROACH

To meet Samsung’s objectives Cohn & Wolfe embarked on an integrated communications program designed to showcase Samsung’s futuristic, digital mobile phones and give Australians and international visitors the opportunity to experience Samsung’s technology first hand. 

Samsung’s flagship program was the ‘Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung’ in Sydney Olympic Park. A purpose built complex designed to entertain and provide hospitality to competing athletes and their families, provide entertainment to the general public and to showcase Samsung’s state of the art mobile phone technology. 

Other programs supported by Cohn & Wolfe to help meet Samsung’s overall objectives included: 

The Samsung Share The Moment Call program – During the Games three Samsung ‘Share the Moment’ Call Squads (performance artists) patrolled key tourist areas in Sydney, inviting visitors and locals to make free three minute calls to anywhere in the world using Samsung mobile phones. The ‘Share the Moment’ initiative also operated daily from the [email protected] with spectators invited to make the call alongside a well-known Olympian. 

Olympic Rendezvous Lounge (ORL) – Located in the Athlete’s Village, the ORL was set up to showcase Samsung Electronics’ wireless communications and to provide concierge services to other Samsung supported venues and activities, local transport and tourism.

Samsung Digital @ The Rocks – A free, fun interactive information and exhibition centre in Sydney’s historical Rocks district, which showcased Samsung’s latest digital mobile phones and was a prime tourist attraction for Australian and international visitors in the lead up to and during the Games. 

Samsung Athletes’ Family Host 2000 Program - Supported by the Sydney Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (SOCOG), this program recruited Sydney households to host athletes’ families from around the world for a one-week period during the Games. 

CAMPAIGN EXECUTION

Cohn & Wolfe executed Samsung’s Olympic marketing program in two phases – pre Games (May 1999 – September 14 2000) and during Games (September 15 – October 1 2000).

Activities involved included:

  • development of an extensive CD-ROM media kit distributed in the Main press Centre to all international media; 
  • support of sales promotions;
  • development of various VNRs distributed pre and post Games;
  • an Olympic Games operations plan and issues management plan; 
  • the creation and distribution of over 100 media releases;
  • co-ordination and management of press conferences and product launches throughout the year and; 
  • staffing around the clock during the 17 days of competition at the purpose built Samsung Media Centre
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