IOC Marketing and Sponsorship Lead Christian Voigt previews SponsorLive and the future of the sponsorship sector
by Conrad Wiacek
Ahead of the SponsorLive ESA Summit, taking place in Brussels on 28th March, keynote speaker Christian Voigt, Marketing and Sponsorship Lead at the IOC and formerly of sportswear brand PUMA, talks to Sportcal Sponsorship about some of the key themes and ideas that he will be discussing at the summit that will shape the sponsorship industry in relation to the IOC TOP partner programme in 2019 and beyond.
21st January 2019, 12:49

The digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down

If anything, the digital revolution continues to pick up pace. It is changing every facet of our daily lives, leading a fundamental change in how the world works – and the sponsorship industry is no exception. Our TOP Partner programme also reflects these changes, and we have brought new Partners on board – including Alibaba, Allianz and Intel – with a view to shaping the digital future of the Olympic Games. In addition, long-term partners – including recently OMEGA, Samsung and Visa – have extended their commitment, in some cases as far as 2032, and our renewal discussions reflect an increased focus on digital technology and activations. Working with Partners that are on the cutting edge of technological development allows the IOC to not only innovate its offering to fans at the Games, but also how it engages with them outside of Games time.

Impact of the fragmentation of the media market on the sponsorship industry

In a fragmented media market, attracting people’s attention is becoming an ever greater challenge. However, sport may be the last vanguard in terms of ‘appointment viewing’, and this presents an opportunity for the IOC and the way it engages with sponsors and Partners at all levels. Sport, the Olympic Games and the athletes provide the most engaging, thrilling content, and we are also working to ensure that we can engage audiences year-round, for example through the Olympic Channel or other social media activity. More so than ever before, the Olympic Movement is able to develop direct relationships with fans, which in turn means it can provide access to that relationship to its Partners, providing authentic and meaningful interaction with fans like never before.

The TOP Partner family

Since its inception in 1985, the TOP programme continues to go from strength to strength, as evidenced by the current roster of Partners we have, the length of our agreements and, as a result, the financial security that this provides for the Olympic Movement and sports development around the world. The appeal of the Olympic brand and the importance of the Olympic values in today’s world, coupled with the fact that the Olympic Games are going to take place in Tokyo, Beijing, Paris and Los Angeles in the next decade, mean that there is more interest in the TOP programme than ever before. Our job is to build on this successful foundation and ensure a return on objectives for our Partners and the Olympic Movement for the next 30 years! 

Sportcal is a media partner of SponsorLive: the ESA Summit 2019, Europe’s premier sponsorship conference and networking occasion and the SportsRightsLive - The TV rights Summit due to take place in Brussels on 28th and 29th March 2019.