“Faster” is the first word in the Olympic motto “faster, higher, stronger.” Accordingly, following the enthusiastic support for the launch of a year-round broadcast organization at the International Olympic Committee Executive Board meeting last week, the IOC has posted two senior positions in television and marketing services to strengthen the team. The details give insight into the many choices the IOC has to make the initiative successful. This set of implementation choices can help secure final approval for Olympic TV when the full voting membership of the IOC meets in December to consider a formal launch for the envisioned Olympic Television Network.
The position descriptions for Senior Media Counsel and Commercial Counsel illustrate a vision for the future of Olympic television that is widely available and customized to the goals of target audiences. References to both digital media platforms and social media open the door to the expansion of related YouTube channels and options for webcasting as part of a long-term content development strategy. At the same time, a more ambitious infrastructure for satellite and cable distribution as part of basic free broadcasts, subscription services or pay-per-view looks like an important component from the details of the position descriptions. Looking to the future, the postings also highlight “new opportunities using multi-media platforms.”
As a good indication the IOC is getting ready for an ambitious channel launch with high goals, the candidate experience sought includes “expert knowledge of digital content creation” as well as “experience of working on innovative channel launches.” The IOC is also looking for multi-taskers who can “work on several projects at the same time.” Sponsorship savvy is also sought, indicating that much of the content will be sponsored content, creating an opportunity for sophisticated sponsors to get in on the ground floor.
These positions in the IOC Television and Marketing Services organization are based in Lausanne, Switzerland and list English as the working language. Lausanne has become an important hub for sports business. Over time, most international sports federations have selected the area for their world headquarters and benefit from the ability to schedule and co-ordinate global sports competitions with other experts. But frequent travel will be a must for the broadcast launch team since the physical networks which could handle high volume viewership are spread around the world.
There is one more indication the IOC plans to move quickly with the Olympic television initiative. The start date listed for the Senior Media Counsel is “as soon as possible.”