The Business behind the Rings – 2012 Summer Games

On Tuesday, May 8, 2012 the British American Business Council hosted “The Business behind the Rings: 2012 Summer Games” a panel discussion and networking event at The Hub, Cira Centre in Philadelphia. Approximately 100 people gathered to learn about the food service, transportation, media and business investment aspects of London 2012. After almost an hour of networking, Hope Krebs, BABC Board President welcomed guests and introduced Bill Decker, Co-Owner of the Hub and Chairman of ShelterBox USA. Bill briefly discussed ShelterBox’ mission, and welcomed people to visit the display tent. He thanked the BABC for donating a portion of proceeds to ShelterBox, a British-based international, disaster relief organization.

Hope thanked all event supporters for participating in the Business behind the Rings program. She spoke about the BABC and provided an introduction to moderator, Kenneth Shropshire from The Wharton Sports Business Initiative, David W. Hauck Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Special Counsel, Duane Morris LLP.

Ken talked about his personal history and experience with the Games, working with athletes, cities, media, and corporate supporters before inviting Nick McInnes, Director, UK Trade & Investment USA and Deputy Consul-General, British Consulate General, New York to the podium. Nick commenced his discussion with an inspirational video about London “open for business.” He explained the year 2012 is “all about GREAT for the United Kingdom – great sport, great legacy and Great Britain.” London 2012, The Queen’s Jubilee, and the “Great” marketing campaign launched earlier this year, are bringing billions of dollars of business to the UK. Nick’s overall discussion of US and other investment in Great Britain was the perfect lead-in to the presentations given by executives from ARAMARK, British Airways and NBC/Universal.

Matt Offner, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at ARAMARK discussed ARAMARK’s Olympic & Paralympic history. He gave an overview of the London Games; provided a detailed timeline; showed the Olympic village food tents design and construction; discussed staffing, supply chain and logistics; and ARAMARK’s Olympic legacy. Perhaps the most staggering aspect of Matt’s presentation was the statistics of how much milk, produce, etc. ARAMARK will need to serve up to 70,000 meals a day.

John McDonald, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Americas Division for British Airways spoke about what the Games mean for the airline’s business and marketing strategy in 2012. John discussed the challenges of British Airways’ dual branding – the difference between marketing to the US and the UK. He explained the many misconceptions about being an Olympic sponsor, and the significant impact serving the Olympic Games can have on a company.

Thomas Togneri, Director, Olympics and Sports Sales at NBC Owned Television Stations spoke about the Comcast/NBC Commitment; the lead-up to the Games; the rules of the road; and the scope of advertising opportunities. Comcast won the rights to broadcast the Olympic Games for $4.5 billion through 2020. In Tom’s own words, “broadcasting the Games is the most powerful medium there is. There will be 17 days and nights of story lines – the ultimate in reality TV.”

Following the panelists coverage of London 2012 business investment, food service, transportation, and media, there was a dynamic Q&A session. Attendees asked excellent questions focusing on revenue-related issues, marketing, media and logistics.
Gold Medal Sponsors: ARAMARK, British Airways, NBC10, UKTI, and The Wharton Sports Business Initiative
Silent Auction and Swag Donors: Aberdeen Asset Management, British Airways, The Dandelion, The Philadelphia Eagles, The Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Triathlon LLC, Philadelphia Union, The Trestle Inn, UKTI, and USA Rugby Sevens.

Click here to view pictures from the event

Click the below links to access press about the BABC’s Business behind the Rings: 2012 Summer Games panel discussion.

The Philadelphia Inquirer:

The Business Journal:

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  • Forensic Resolutions
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  • Johnson Matthey
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Olympus
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