Olympic body picks global broadcast head

International Olympic Committee (IOC) marketing chief Michael Payne has been promoted to lead the broadcasting team as part of an overhaul of the organisation’s management structure.

Marketing responsibilities will be passed to Meridian Management, a specialist marketing agency that was recently acquired by the IOC. Meridian will have responsibility for the organisation’s sponsorship programme during next year’s games in Athens.

Meridian will also manage the IOC’s &£62m advertising account, which was handed to Saatchi & Saatchi New York after a four-way pitch this summer (MW July 10).

Payne has been the IOC’s marketing director for over 15 years. There were rumours earlier this year that Formula One Management’s Bernie Ecclestone wanted to poach him.

Payne says his appointment to director of global broadcast and media rights, a newly created post, reflects the importance of broadcast rights to the IOC. He says: “Broadcast rights already account for over 60 per cent of the IOC’s revenue so the area is very important. It was already taking up most of my time, so it seemed a natural step.”

The restructure at the IOC also includes Chris Weldon, executive director of Meridian, reporting to Urs Lacotte, who was appointed in November to head operations as director-general.

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