The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer

Michael R. Payne, Father of Olympic Branding - Part 1

November 18, 2019

 

Michael Payne has been at the forefront of the sports marketing industry nearly forty years – having led the global marketing effort for the Olympic Movement for more than two decades, from 1983 to 2004 as the IOC’s first ever Marketing and Broadcast Rights Director. Michael Payne now runs his own global strategic advisory group – Payne Sports Media Strategies SA, serving a diverse group of clients and Boards.

Nominated as one of the world’s most influential marketers by Advertising Age, Michael oversaw the development of the first ever global marketing strategy for the Olympic Games, which has turned into one of the most successful marketing initiatives ever seen.

During his tenure at the IOC, Michael lead the marketing team for over 20 years, that would generate in excess of $15 billion in broadcast and marketing revenues.

On leaving the IOC, following the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Michael founded his own strategic consultancy, Payne Sports Media Strategies SA working with many of the world’s leading sports groups and companies. For more than a decade, Michael has acted as special advisor to F1’s former Chairman / CEO Bernie Ecclestone, pioneering the effort to bring F1 to new markets from Singapore to Russia, to supporting major F1 broadcast negotiations from UK to US and eventually helping prepare the group for sale in 2015.

Michael has also acted for more than a decade as special advisor to WPP, the world’s largest marketing group and serves on, or as advisor to a number of boards around the world.

Still very active in the business affairs of the Olympic Movement, Tokyo 2020 will be Michael’s 20th Olympic Games Michael served as senior strategic advisor to the successful London 2012, Rio 2016 and LA 2028 bids. He advises on major Olympic, F1 and other sports media rights and sponsorship negotiations for clients across Asia, the Americas and Europe, negotiating many of the world’s largest broadcast and sponsorship deals. Most recently he pioneered, with his Chinese partners Shankai, the ground breaking innovative Alibaba – IOC long term partnership deal, and the ground breaking Coca-Cola Mengniu Joint TOP deal.

Recognised as a pioneer in the industry, from the original creation of the IOC’s TOP global sponsorship programme, through to the introduction of brand management discipline in sports marketing and the IOC’s award winning Celebrate Humanity programme, to the creation of the world’s first digital sports film archive bureau, OTAB, to ground breaking technology introducing LED to the field of sports competition.

His business book, Olympic Turnaround (Published London Business Press – June 2005) details the business story of how the Olympic Games stepped back from the brink of bankruptcy to become the world’s best known brand – and a multi billion dollar global franchise, has earned critical acclaim in the industry and been translated into more than 15 languages.

Prior to joining the IOC, Michael spent a number of years helping to develop and manage marketing programmes for a broad variety of international events. These included the First World Athletics Championships, Helsinki1983; the English test Match Cricket Series through to the launch of the London Marathon in 1982. Prior to that, in the mid 1970’s Michael competed in the international ski circuit as a member of the British Freestyle Ski Team, at World Cup level – twice becoming British Professional Freestyle Ski Champion.

Michael is a regular commentator on sports marketing industry affairs for CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Financial Times and other media groups around the world including regular marketing columns with Fortune China and Japan’s Yomuiri Shimbun.

 

 Key Highlights:

  1. Michael shares stories about his early days at West Nally and ISL, the Wild West of Sports marketing and his experience working with these two powerful agencies.
  2. Michael’s humble start as the first Director of Marketing of the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
  3. The dismal state of the Olympics at that time (mid 80s) and the Games being practically bankrupt with no-one interested to host it (Cold War days).
  4. The revival and how the TOP program was created, evolved and saved the Games – from Horst Dassler to Juan Antonio Samaranch.
  5. Michael, the man and story behind “the branding policy” (no advertising on the field of play).
  6. Michael's take on changes to Article 40 and the impact for sponsors.

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