Young & Rubicam, VML Launch Their First Campaign for U.S. Olympic Committee | Adweek Young & Rubicam, VML Launch Their First Campaign for U.S. Olympic Committee | Adweek
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A New Campaign for the U.S. Olympic Committee

Web video bows tagline: 'The team behind the team'

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The U.S. Olympic Committee has a new logo, new agencies, and now, a new campaign that links the Olympic movement with the American spirit.

The campaign, which was developed by Young & Rubicam and sister digital shop VML, will include social media outreach, TV spots, print ads, and a redesign of the organization’s Web site. VML is revamping the site, which will be ready in December.

The first trace of the campaign is a two-minute video (scroll down to view) on the USOC’s Facebook page that introduces the tagline, “The team behind the team.” The video features images of the coaches, parents, tutors, nutritionists, and trainers behind Olympic athletes. Those images segue to shots of actual Olympians, such as swimmer Michael Phelps.

“In these athletes, we see ourselves—medal or no medal,” a male voice says. “Their feats inspire our own. They are the talent and purpose spurred by the will of all of us because while we celebrate the Olympics every two years, we live the Olympic spirit every single day. We are the team behind the team.”

The goal of the campaign—as always—is to generate donations, be it from individuals or corporations.

“We actually have a fundamental business problem to solve,” said Lisa Baird, the USOC’s chief marketing officer. “Not a lot of Americans realize that the United States Olympic and Paralympic teams are almost entirely funded by donors, sponsors, and private contributions.”

Baird added that in her brief to Y&R and VML “what we were looking for were connections where Americans actually feel connected to the success and the dream of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”

The USOC, which uses agencies on a project basis, briefed Y&R and VML back in the spring. Previous work for the USOC came from mcgarrybowen.

The USOC hired Y&R based on Baird’s past experience working with David Sable, the agency’s global CEO. Baird worked closely with Sable between 1999 and 2005 when she was a marketing executive at IBM and he was president of Wunderman, the direct marketing unit of Y&R Brands.

After IBM, Baird worked as CMO of the NFL and as a consultant. She joined the USOC in January 2009