Road to the Olympics

NYC 2012, a not-for-profit organization established three years ago to pitch New York City as the host of the 2012 summer Olym pics, has approached agencies about an ad assignment, sources said.

The organization, founded by former investment banker Dan Doctoroff and backed financially by American Express, Merrill Lynch and AOL Time Warner, among others, seeks a New York shop that can provide both traditional and be low-the-line advertising, sources said. Size doesn’t appear to be an issue, and sources said NYC 2012 wants to get a shop on board quickly. As such, the decision will be based mainly on credentials and chemistry.

Leading the search are Doctoroff, the organization’s president, and Jon Stern, director of marketing/communications. Doctoroff is a managing partner at Oak Hill Capital Management, and Stern used to work at Burson-Marsteller. Doctoroff’s office referred questions to Stern, who did not return calls.

NYC 2012 has already begun its marketing efforts. Its Web site, developed by Digital Pulp, opens with a musical montage of images featuring Olympic athletes in city surroundings. In one, a male gymnast is seen swinging from subway handles. Those images also have appeared in poster form on subways.

Now, the client is looking for advertising that will reach a broad audience—”from Joe Sixpack to the influentials,” as one source put it. That would include politicians and editorial writers. The primary target is the U.S. Olympic Committee.

New York is among eight cities vying for the U.S. nomination, along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Tampa, Fla., and Washington. The U.S. will submit a candidate to the International Olympic Committee by next October, which will consider sites around the world before selecting one in 2005.