NEW YORK, June 10—Weber Shandwick Worldwide, which helped bring the Olympic Games to Beijing in 2008, will be part of a new McCann-Erickson WorldGroup team that offers clients comprehensive Olympic marketing expertise. The team, which will operate as O5 Group, also includes Weber Shandwick’s IPG sister companies McCann-Erickson Advertising, Momentum Worldwide, FutureBrand and MRM Partners Worldwide.
O5 will have expertise in the areas of sponsorship strategy and negotiation, public relations, brand management and development, event management, customer relationship management, and advertising.
“The Olympics have always been one of the world’s largest and most celebrated events,” says Jim Heekin, chairman and chief executive at McCann Erickson WorldGroup. “The Games have clearly evolved to appeal to new generations of fans and athletes. At the same time, Olympic marketing opportunities and corporate commitment have increased and now require a unique communications offering.
The O in the new group’s name stands for the Olympics and the 5 represents the five Olympic rings and the five supporting McCann WorldGroup companies.
The group will be led by Olympic communications veterans and co-managing directors Bob Heussner and Gary Pluchino, and supplemented by Olympic-marketing experts including Weber Shandwick CEO Harris Diamond. The firm’s experts have worked on Olympic related projects for Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Gateway, Pfizer, Qwest, General Motors, UPS, Marriott, and the Beijing 2008 Bid Committee.
The announcement drew a reaction from the International Olympic Committee. Says IOC marketing director Michael Payne, “Anything that helps the business community understand the true power of Olympic sponsorship and get a greater return on their investment is of great value to the Olympic Movement. We welcome this initiative by the McCann WorldGroup to consolidate their resources and expertise to further enhance the overall Olympic marketing effort.”