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Inside Lenovo's Olympic Blogging Program

Imb_lenovoolympics This past week in the string of posts about the book coming out, I’ve been stockpiling ideas for "real" blog posts and wanting to write about them more and more. Thankfully now that I launched the Personality Matters blog, I will post most of the updates about the book there and refocus on marketing strategy and insights here. I can’t promise I won’t share the occasional post about the book … but I know that you’re giving me your time to read this blog because you want marketing ideas and you want lots of them. So this post is about one I’m particularly excited about.

The Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence team recently finalized the details to take the lead on what I would have to call my dream project. Those who know me know that I am what you might call a full on Olympic enthusiast. I went to college in Atlanta and was there for the 1996 Olympics. I moved to Sydney in 1998 and lived there during the Sydney Olympics, and my first son was born right in the middle of the Athens Olympics (during the women’s marathon, ironically). So I’ve been there and seen it, and more importantly, I think it is a world stage that nothing else even comes close to.

Which brings me to this very ambitious project that we are helping Lenovo with. David Churbuck, our main client, posted about the idea behind the project on his blog and it is a brilliant summary of a big vision that Lenovo and David himself has for this project. Here it is in a nutshell:

Imb_lenovotorch1_2 The Problem:
Media coverage of the Olympics has become about melodrama that is broadcasted as "real" stories. But those producers only choose the athletes who have overcome quadruple knee surgery and the lack of a college degree to become a world champion … in other words, the extreme stories.

The Insight: What about the real athletes who spend every day training and working hard just to get to the Olympics whether they have a shot of winning or not?  Their voices could be the most powerful and this Olympics more than any other promises to offer the chance for them to do that.

The Project: We are seeking 100 potential Olympic athletes from around the world to all start and maintain a blog all about their experience leading up to and during the Games. In return, Lenovo is offering all participants the chance to use a new IdeaPad laptop for their blogging and help from our team to set up and maintain their blogs. 

This is a big project on a scale that is completely global, multi-lingual and very ambitious. Lenovo, to their credit, are not content to sit back with their sponsorship of the Olympic Torch Relay and Olympic Village (already considerable efforts) and call it a job well done.  If this is the year for Olympics 2.0, this program should be one of the best examples of it. Our main goal right now is finding Olympic athletes, so if you know any (or you happen to be one), please get in touch with myself rohit [dot] bhargava [at] or David.

  • Maria Reyes-McDavis

    This is a great real-world example!
    Thanks for the great post!

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  • Linda

    Rohit, my Father was an Olympic athlete for Sweden back in the 70′s and is in constant contact with his Swedish Olympic buddies (who are now coaching current Olympic athletes); I would be happy to have him speak with his friends and see if anyone is interested. I personally think its a great idea to get the “regular” people out there talking about their experiences, that is what kids look up to.

  • Rohit

    Linda – that sounds brilliant … is there anything your Dad hasn’t done? I’ll email you directly to chat!

  • Thomas

    Der lang anhaltende Machtkampf um das Gebiet Tibet, wobei es meiner Ansicht nach um die einseitige Macht Chinas geht und auf der anderen Seite ein repressionsfreies und anerkanntes Nebenherleben (lt. dem Dalai Lama), spitzt sich angesichts der bevorstehenden Olympischen Spiele weiter zu.

  • Pavi Agrawal

    Great Post. Keep writing.