Fire It Up PR Gets Exposure for Olympic Athletes

A small Boston-based PR firm you’ve probably never heard of is behind hundreds of media placements profiling Olympic athletes of the Vancouver Games.

Fire It Up PR won an NBC RFP last year to represent 85 athletes prior to the Vancouver games and all athletes during the games. The PR campaign is based on engaging viewers and fans through the athlete’s lifestyle stories.

“What we want to do is mine a bit deeper and tell their day-to-day stories. From fashion to their favorite movies, to personal stories, and how they came to be a world class athlete,” said Fire It Up President Diane McNamara in a phone interview with PRNewser. “We focused on long lead media as far as a year ago.”

Needless to say, McNamara has been flooded with media requests since the games began, often from journalists in need of some last minute access. “It’s amazing people are calling me [on the night of the opening ceremonies] expecting actually to speak with [U.S. skier] Lindsay Vonn,” she said.

On how a small firm like hers won such high profile work with NBC, McNamara said “it’s less about contacts and more about determination and being able to craft a good story. Large agencies are very top heavy and they have a good Rolodex, but most of the good work is done by interns and recent college grads.”

In any case, the PR push seems to be working. Ratings are up almost 25 percent from 2006, and are the highest for a non-American Olympiad since 1994, which featured the infamous Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding slugfest.