Visa to host Olympic handover party

Visa, the credit card brand, will throw a major outdoor party on The Mall in London as part of Olympic handover celebrations on August 24. The Visa 2012 Party, announced today (June 16), will include a free concert for 40,000 revellers outside Buckingham Palace.

The party will be extended around the UK with several other cities, including Portsmouth, Swindon and Cardiff, staging their own celebrations. A network of eight permanent giant screens and a number of temporary screens will also be erected to screen the games in Beijing, †the closing ceremony and Mall concert. The screens will be sponsored by 2012 tier one partners, Lloyds TSB and BT.†

The official handover ceremony, which will be shown around the world, will see Beijing pass the Olympic flag on to new London mayor, Boris Johnson. It will also include a short “launch” of the London games, and will include a performance by a dance troupe incorporating performers from the Royal Opera House, Zoo Nation and CanDoCo, a dance company that includes disabled dancers. †The handover will be followed by the Cultural Olympiad, which includes a school’s programme and various arts initiatives. A website devoted to 2012’s school’s education programme was also launched today.†

Earlier this year, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) appointed Chime Communications to handle the advertising, promotions and PR activities for the handover ceremony. It will also promote the cultural programme. LOCOG will seek an agency for a global communications strategy next year (MW February 28).

Meanwhile, LOCOG has also unveiled a new version of its controversial logo that incorporates the Union Jack (pictured).The logo, in the form of a flag, will be offered to every local authority in the UK to hang from town halls and offices.

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