|Sir Craig Reedie- Vice President, IOC|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 27 July 2012 13:03
Sir Craig Reedie gained success playing badminton from 1962 to 1970, culminating in becoming a doubles champion. At the time, badminton was not recognised as an Olympic sport, a situation his influence was able to remedy in 1985, leading to the first medals being awarded at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
After his success as a player, Reedie turned his efforts towards sports administration and from 1981 to 1984 he was President of the International Badminton Federation (IBF). In 1992, he became the Chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), serving in that capacity for more than a decade, and for which role he was knighted on retiring in 2005. In 1994, in addition to his British role, Reedie joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC), where he is currently one of three United Kingdom representatives.
Sir Craig was elected to the Executive Board of the IOC in recognition of his contributions to the Olympic movement. He is the first British IOC Member to hold this distinction in over 60 years. He also sat on the board of the London 2012 Organising Committee.
Reedie is a member of the Order of the British Empire, in the rank of Commander, giving him the post-nominal letters CBE. In 2006 he gained further recognition, with the award of a knighthood from the Queen, since when his formal title has become: Sir Craig Reedie, CBE. Reedie was awarded with an Honorary Degree by the University of Lincoln in the 2010 Graduation ceremonies.
Sir Craig was recently elected as the Vice-President of the IOC.
First of all, warm congratulations from iSportconnect on your election as Vice-President of the IOC. How do you feel?
To be elected as a Vice President of the International Olympic Committee is the greatest possible honour at any time - but from a personal point of view the honour is greatly enhanced to be elected in London before the Olympic Games which have been such a wonderful project for me for many years.
How has Tier 1 Olympic sponsors fared in terms of effort and success in activating their partnerships?
You see them constantly now. This is a time when many sponsors are most active. The most public ones would be Coke, Samsung and Lloyds who are also sponsors of the torch relay. That has been and still is, every day, an absolutely wonderful success, as it goes all around the country. If you look at current advertising; EDF, Visa, there’s a whole raft of advertising going on, so people are being made aware of the contribution that the sponsors make to the Games. They will also be arranging their own entertainment for their own customers. The one that attracts me particularly is the Lloyds Banking Group programme where they have concentrated on young people.. They are following the London theme of bringing young people into sport and that I think has worked pretty well.
How does this reflect on the role of sponsorship in communications activities of major brand in the UK?
The Games are the biggest event in the world of sport and sponsors are happy to be involved. I don’t think that there is any down side to it. If you look at statistics that are available from the various surveys people believe that sponsorship of major events reflects well on the company doing the sponsoring and London have done very well to raise in excess of £700m from their own domestic sponsorship arrangements in a really very difficult market. It has been an outstanding performance.
There is always the chance of ambush marketing with companies trying to piggyback this year’s Games to get free advertising. What rules are in place and are they strict enough to tackle this issue?
There is an Olympic act which is designed to prevent that kind of behaviour. LOCOG have a very active legal department who try as best they can to stop ambush marketing and in the main they are successful. The only bit of it that gets any publicity is when somebody finds a story to write in a newspaper that looks as if it is rather minor. But if there is a breach of the marketing regulations then it is incumbent on the organising committee to do everything it can to close it down and they are active and I think they’ve been successful. I’m not aware of there being anything of great substance. Quite clearly sharp people try to ambush you all the time. As we speak I can’t think of anything that’s hit the headlines and I think the people have done a good job.