German lawyer and former Olympic fencer Bach beat six candidates yesterday (11 September) to replace Jacques Rogge, who is standing down after 12 years. Bach begins an eight-year term as Olympic chief, with the possibility of a second, four-year stint.
He plans to motivate young people to practice sport and engage more with the Olympic brand year-round as two of the main priorities moving forward. A social media strategy is to be explored to attract larger audiences alongside plans to use youth role models outside of sports – such as musicians and actors – as ambassadors. The social media focus follows the success of last year’s London 2012 Games that saw sponsors including Adidas and Cadbury use Facebook and Twitter to maximise the real-time marketing opportunities around events.
Bach has also spoken about establishing an Olympic TV network that would broadcast events such as the Youth Games and some national championships in the years between major tournaments. It aims to drive interests in sports that are not normally covered by traditional broadcasters in the hopes of increasing participation levels.
Additionally, the organisation is to place a greater focus on generating social value from its marketing activity after seeing more brands tie their CSR activity closer to their sponsorship campaigns. Both Cadbury and Coca-Cola claimed they were among the first to measure the social impact of their Olympic campaigns during last year’s Games.
Bach says the marketing strategy would lead to “better sponsor activation” and “higher revenues” at a national level.
He takes over the reins of an organisation in rude financial health with broadcasting revenues set to top $4.1bn (£2.6bn) for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Rio 2016 Games – this is in comparison to the $3.85bn (£2.4bn) total for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 cycle. Despite the brand’s financial resilience, perceptions have taken a beating in recent months following doping scandals involving several high profile athletes including American sprinter Tyson Gay.