BONN, GERMANY: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has chosen Edelman as its first-ever global AOR.
The IPC is a Germany-based organization that serves as the governing body for Paralympic sports. The Paralympic Games are held in the same city and in the same venues as the Olympic Games; the 2008 Games will be held in Beijing.
"Where they need our help is a combination of strategy and brand positioning," said Peter Land, global MD for Edelman's sports and sponsorship practice. "On one hand, it's a great brand because of its connection to the Olympics; on the other hand, it's not the Olympics. Our job will be elevating the reputation and importance of the Paralympic Games brand."
The IPC began the RFP process for the pro-bono account in late 2005, with several firms vying for the work. Meetings between agency and client have already begun.
Edelman's offices in New York, Atlanta, Beijing, Toronto, Chicago, London, and Hamburg, Germany, will be working on the account.
Edelman was chosen for its vast experience with the Olympic Games, having had involvement with corporate sponsors, host cities, national governing bodies, athletes, and organizing committees of the Games since 1984.
"We are happy to have an agency that has this unique sports marketing experience," said Miriam Wilkens, media and communications director for the IPC. "We like that it is an agency that had the Games experience with the Olympics. It was very important to us that they have a global reach and that they have offices all over the world."
The Paralympics Games began in 1960, and the "para" in Paralympic is Greek for "parallel," representing how the games for the disabled exist side-by-side with the Olympic Games.
"Many of the people who work in the sports marketing practice wanted to give something back to the Olympics after all the work we have done with them," Land said.