Rosetta Stone builds brand with Olympic athletes' help

WASHINGTON, DC: Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software maker, is leveraging its work with several Olympic athletes who used its programs to learn Chinese prior to going to Beijing. The effort is part of its overall brand awareness strategy.

WASHINGTON: Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software maker, is leveraging its work with Olympic athletes for its overall brand awareness strategy.

Rosetta Stone has sponsorship relationships with several Olympic swimmers, including Michael Phelps. Some athletes used its programs to learn Chinese before going to Beijing. After the Games, the company is planning a media tour that would promote how using the language tools improved the athletes' experience in Beijing, said Pamela Mulder, VP of brand marketing and strategy at Rosetta Stone.

The company also distributed its products to several journalists covering the Olympics, and plans to encourage them to report on how knowing the language helped with their coverage.

The media push will incorporate the company's global message, developed in conjunction with its new AOR, GolinHarris, which includes dispelling what it believes are myths about language learning.

“We want to communicate that language learning is misunderstood, and it's not unnatural,” Mulder said.

The company will also showcase stories from other customers, like educators, government officials, businesspeople, and individuals, she added. Its target markets include educators, government entities, corporate customers, as well

as individuals who are interested in language learning.

Lane Bailey, regional MD at Golin, said the agency will also position Rosetta Stone as a thought leader, particularly its CEO, Tom Adams. The biggest challenge facing the company is raising brand awareness and communicating what differentiates it in the market, Bailey explained.

Golin was selected following a competitive bid earlier this year for a six-figure, annual contract, Mulder said. The company previously worked with Carmichael Lynch Spong, but the agency declined to pitch for this account, though it was invited, according to CLS president Doug Spong.

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