Can a global event solve the obesity problem in Britain?
Being an Australian living in London during the So how does this affect communications and media
recent Olympics has to be one of the most painful planning? We have to start changing the way we think
periods of my life. Trying to keep your wit flying about sporting partnerships. Instead of asking ourselves
and your patriotism strong during adversity, without ‘how do we use sport to make people remember our
showing any sign of a tear to your opponent should brand’ we need to starting asking ‘how do we activate
be an Olympic sport in itself. But I do have to people to get involved with our brand through sport?’
grudgingly say, it is a fantastic time for British sport. Recent work for a sporting brand highlighted that although
a large part of the population watched team related
The recent triumph in Beijing, the government investment sports, be it in television or live, many more people
in a huge number of sporting initiatives and the lead actually participate in individual sports.
up to London 2012 has shown Britain has the ability and
opportunity to truly perform on the world stage of sport. A more influence led communication model led
This is the perfect opportunity to help address a global us to consider how we could use sport as a
problem, locally. The increase in obesity of both adults platform to drive participation through motivating
and children is affecting Britain as well as the western involvement in an individual sport.
world and has to be addressed before it is too late.
Britain is the third most obese country in the world Lloyds TSB, a British bank, is utilising its sponsorship
behind USA and Mexico. to 2012 as a launch platform for its 250 grants for
up and coming sports stars to help support their
But the truth is that the consumption of fat has development. Nike+ understood the motivations of
decreased by 25% in the past 30 odd years. The lack runners, and added to the experience by understanding
of an active lifestyle is a key factor in the growth of the role of technology in participation. Not only did they
obesity. Globalisation of fast food into emerging markets help you to set goals and track your progress, but they
will continue to drive this problem even further across also tapped in to our competitive spirits. The recent world
Latin America, Asia and Europe. But I believe, we can 10km run created by Nike brought everyone together
counter this in Britain by using patriotic support for across to the world after helping them to train, set goals
Britain’s Olympic hopefuls, the government’s expenditure and finally participate in the event. Runners report Nike
on sporting initiatives, as well as more brands getting apparel taking over the running parks in Stockholm,
involved in sport, helping us all to be more active. New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney.
The centerpiece of the London Olympic bid was We have to change the way we think about sporting
a national commitment to engage two million more partnerships. The key question is “How do we activate
Britons in sporting activities. We can already people to get involved with our brand through sport?”
see the social benefits of sports investment That way we can grow our client’s business, and help
overshadowing Britain’s sports personalities. address a growing social issue.
Major sports brands are starting to recognise
that it is more fruitful to get involved at a
grass roots level, encouraging ordinary
Communications Planning Director
people’s sporting habits. Successful brands
Universal McCann, UK
in this space focus on truly engaging the
audience and adding something to their
sporting experience that will motivate