Cisco eyes legacy from London 2012

Cisco is using its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics to persuade prospective customers it is “part of the UK’s social fabric” and not just a US technology sales company.


As well as using the Olympics to showcase its network infrastructure capabilities, Cisco will also be focusing its Games-related activity on helping to plug the British skills gap in maths and science, which needed to help supply the current and future demand for IT and networking employees.

Activity includes creating Olympics themed workbooks and online content for more than 4,500 schools and creating six national incubator centres to help start up businesses and entrepreneurs collaborate with larger companies to help them grow and get investment. Marketing support has been provided by Surrey-based agency dnx.

Ian Symes, Cisco’s marketing director for UK and Ireland 2012, says the company’s main objective is to help change people’s perceptions of Cisco and help them understand how it benefits Britain.

“When we first signed up to sponsor the Games, there was still the perception that we were a US technology sales company. We want to communicate that we’re actually very much part of British society, part of the social fabric and very much a local company.”

Although based in the US, Cisco employs 4,500 people in he UK and it invests in many local start-ups.

Symes says the Olympics is just the “starting gun” for five-year long strategy to help improve Britain’s network infrastructure and upskill its workers.

He adds: “Yes, we produce equipment, but that’s not the soul of the company; we invest more than £5bn a year in R&D and we really believe, as a company, in creating a brilliant future for Britain.

“We want people to see what we have done at the Olympics and beyond and for them to say ‘wow’. It will really help people understand we are far more inspirational and transformational as a business than perhaps they ever expected.”

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