New York’s 2012 Olympic bid team has appointed UK-based marketing and sports agency SP Holdings to oversee negotiations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
SP Holdings’ Swiss subsidiary, TSE Consulting, will work with the New York team. The appointment of a non-US agency reflects the importance of having a support team near to the IOC’s Lausanne headquarters in order to maintain close contact with the 124 IOC members, who will award the games next summer.
The appointment of a marketing agency in Switzerland is likely to raise eyebrows, following allegations aired in a recent BBC Panorama programme, which showed an IOC member saying he was “open to negotiations” when reporters posing as East London businessmen approached him and asked him to back London’s bid.
This is not the first time New York has turned to help from the UK. The bid’s “creative council”, which has formed its multi-million dollar ad campaign, boasts among its members Bartle Bogle Hegarty chairman and worldwide creative director John Hegarty. However, the UK is also no stranger to recruiting foreign talent – American Barbara Cassani was in charge of the London 2012 bid until earlier this year.