Olympic bid cities call on UK expertise

The UK PR industry is driving all four bids for the 2016 Olympics campaigns, it emerged this week.

Frontrunners: UK agencies are heading all 2016 Olympic bids
Frontrunners: UK agencies are heading all 2016 Olympic bids

Vero Communications will promote Rio’s bid, while the three other cities in contention have also called for help from UK-based consultants.

Vero initially worked with Doha before the city was eliminated at the first stage in June. Agency founder Mike Lee was formerly director of communications and public affairs for London’s 2012 Olympic bid.

Chicago, the favourite to land the 2016 Games, is using Hill & Knowlton (H&K). The H&K team is led by its Chicago office under Patrick Sandusky, who worked on the London 2012 bid for H&K out of the UK.

Madrid is using Bell Pottinger with a team led by Lord Bell and chairman Kevin Murray. Tokyo’s efforts are being led by UK Olympic-bid veteran Jon Tibbs and Weber Shandwick.

Tibbs said: ‘The bidding world has become very sophisticated. A large part of that has been driven by London-based agencies over the years. Every bid that has won has had a UK agency involved at some stage.

Olympic city bids

Chicago               10/11

Hill & Knowlton    

Rio de Janeiro      5/2

Vero Communications

Tokyo                  11/4

Weber Shandwick, Jon Tibbs Associates

Madrid                 15/2

Bell Pottinger

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