The Publicists Behind South Korea’s Olympic Win

Celebration after Pyeongchang was announced the winner. Photo: AP / Jerome Delay

The Chosun Ilbo has a profile of the two publicists who helped bring the 2018 Winter Olympics to Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Mike Lee is head of the British firm Vero Communications, which specializes in sports PR. Lee has previously helped with winning bids for London (Summer Olympics 2012, for which he was knighted), Rio de Janeiro (2016 Summer Olympics), and Qatar (2022 World Cup).

Terrence Burns is the president of Helios Partners, based in Atlanta, and has a history with Olympic marketing and consulting. He has previously worked on the successful bids from Beijing (2008 Summer Olympics), Vancouver (2010 Winter Olympics), and Sochi, Russia (2014 Winter Olympics.

The paper also reveals a couple of South Korea’s secrets to winning the Olympic bid.

Among them, South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak traveled to Durban where President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel did not (Annecy, France and Munich, Germany were the main contenders). And Pyeongchang had what The Chosun Ilbo called a “clear message” that was aligned with the IOC goal to spread the Olympic spirit around the world.

We did a Q&A with Lloyd Brown James partner Mike Holtzman, who worked on the Qatar win, after that announcement was made. He discussed what it takes to win a bid for a major sporting event. Check out that Q&A here.