I slept so badly after Monday evening at the Linkedin Group Olympics 2028 group meeting at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, and I think I know why! It was such an interesting, but at the same time frustrating event, that I had so much to process and hence I couldn't switch off.
I should have given up trying to sleep and got up and written this blog post immediately ...
Learning from others who have been successful in gaining the Olympics, is very important, in fact crucial in any plan [especially a marketing and bid plan], but it is essential to ensure you are comparing "apples with apples" and not "apples with pears" otherwise you run the risk of drawing the wrong conclusions.
Why compare Brazil and not London 2012? I know a study trip to Brasil is far more exciting than one to London with its Dutch like weather conditions, but when doing analysis of what works and doesn't work, you must compare like with like or as close as you can get.
I feel qualified to write about this as half of my family live in Brazil and the other half in the UK near London, and despite being British myself, I have lived in the Netherlands for the last 12 years. Also I have 15 years experience in "Measurable Marketing" projects.
The London 2012 bid experience would have made a better learning platform for the Dutch Olympic bid [2028???] because there are lots of similarities between the Dutch and the English situation/people ...
- The people [despite being lovely] are very cynical, skeptical, need to be sold to and are not by nature proud people and more importantly they need something solid to get behind and support, for them it is not automatically an honor to host the Olympics. [However Brazilians are by nature optimist, hopeful, trustful, proud people who see getting the Olympics as a real honor].
- The people are overall less sporty and passionate about sport, other things bind the British and Dutch people more. [For the Brazilians music and sport are everything. They went into mourning for a week after their loss in the world cup, in fact they got 2 days off work and school to get over it and my nephew who lives there, wouldn't answer my SMS messages!]
- The selling reason, "THE WHY US", is not obvious and requires very clearly thought out reasons and messaging locally/nationally and internationally. [Unlike Rio where this reason was simple "Pick us, South America has never had an Olympics, we are ready to party and show that South America can pull this off and make you proud."]
Same continent [where many Olympics have taken place and many bids have been focused], same level of economic development, small sized country with many mid sized cities close to each other [issue of compact/dispersed games], low percentage economic growth potential and the same level of infrastructure and infrastructure challenges.
I would encourage the Dutch Olympics 2028 bid organizers to take the learning's from the London 2012 bid team; many of whom have moved on, but are very approachable; into consideration in order to help create the right plan that will work for the Netherlands and the Olympics 2028 bid.