10-Year Countdown

To put public relations and marketing campaigns in a different perspective, think of what it would be like to work on a more than 10-year campaign for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. That’s exactly what Lauren Lamkin will be doing as the new vice president of communications and public relations for Los Angeles 2028.

We’ve talked about the importance of looking beyond short-term strategy to long-term vision, such as the Rolling Stones and David Beckham campaigns we examined. But 10-year event planning campaigns that take place on a world stage? What does it take? And beyond the host city, there are campaigns taking place for each athlete, each sport, and more.

Based on what you’ve learned from the strategies and campaigns we’ve talked about so far, and this week’s reading on the London 2012 campaign, what do you think it will take to build a successful campaign for the 2028 Olympics? What steps have you observed L.A. doing to date? What about Tokyo as they prepare for the 2020 Summer Games?

And, what’s your favorite Olympic sport? The little girl in me still loves watching the gymnasts and ice skaters and divers, but I’m also a fan of watching some of the less attention-getting sports, like canoe slalom.

26 thoughts on “10-Year Countdown

  1. Part of a successful campaign, especially a long-term one, is to create and maintain buzz. I’ve already seen Los Angeles start creating buzz about the city in preparation for the Olympics. Last year around this time, the city launched the LA Original: Space to Create campaign to remind everyone what the city is all about. In the logo they created for LA, there’s a space between the L and the A to symbolize how the city is a creative space for all. As for Tokyo, I’ve noticed that their Twitter page has been pretty active to create buzz about the 2020 Olympics, but I haven’t seen anything else. For both Tokyo and LA, I’m interested in seeing how both cities will maintain the buzz leading up to the different Olympics.

    I’ve always loved watching gymnasts in the Olympics. I’m always fascinated by how gymnasts do extremely difficult flips and tricks with such ease and grace.

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    1. I really like the LA Original campaign too, anchoring on Los Angeles’ creative diversity to both celebrate and inspire. I’m curious to see how this one continues to build as the city strives for recognition as the “creative capital of the world.”

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  2. I have been seeing a lot of how LA is going to handle traffic and the logo for 2028. It is interesting how much they are taking notes from the 1984 games and for 2028. I was also reading around that they are speeding up construction for Metro lines to be done by 2028. I think it has a lot of time but when looking at the grand scheme of what it takes to organize something so big it is probably a lot that has to get done. I am particularly interested with how they will approach housing for athletes and if they have to build things for the games, what will they do with these buildings after the games.
    I love to watch almost any track event, swimming, and of course the gymnast, they are all just so badass and impressive to watch.

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    1. You draw attention to something key here: they have to anticipate the challenges of what hosting can do for a busy city like L.A., including traffic and the extra people it will bring to an already crowded city. I too like to watch what cities do with the facilities and housing developed for the Games. We can benefit from those improved and new facilities if they keep longterm planning in mind for how they can benefit the city after the Olympics.

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  3. I love the Olympic Games, and I found this chapter to be my favorite to read thus far! I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to run the PR and communications for such a global event. I was not really aware of anything that LA had been doing thus far, but when I researched it I was amazed to find that they have already planned exactly where everything will be, and that almost all of the venues will be pre-existing, save the temporary ones. I think it will be interesting to see how the city will handle all of the extra traffic this will cause, as that is already such a large issue.

    I love the logo and theme for the games, I think it is very creative and a great representation of LA. I think their website is beautiful, and even though it is further in the future I felt that they had a bigger social media presence even than the Tokyo 2020 social media pages.

    My favorite events have always been gymnastics and swimming! Some less popular events that I enjoy watching include equestrian events, synchronized swimming, and track and field events.

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    1. Your mention of the logo made me think of the challenge it takes to design something that will be used longterm and capture the spirit of such an important event. Imagine what it takes to design that while looking ahead and being careful to avoid being too “trendy,” so that it doesn’t feel outdated when the Olympics take place!

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  4. With something as huge as the Olympic Games, it is amazing to think that the planning does not take longer than 10 years! In reference to the London games, the PR team in charge of the 2028 Olympics must plan every event with such detail that nothing can go wrong. Though slip-ups will happen, like the dislike of the 2012 logo, it is expected that the events during the games will operate smoothly.

    Like a few others mentioned, LA is taking control of the traffic situation. Metro is working endlessly in order to create less traffic in preparation for the games. The new logo of LA reminds me of London’s desire to create a modern city for the next generation. LA Original encompasses the next generation of the city.

    Gymnastics, diving, and beach volleyball are my absolute favorite summer events!

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    1. “Though slip-ups will happen…” Exactly. No event this large is perfect, but with strategic planning, you can be ready to handle everything from the good surprises to the challenges.

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  5. I was thinking about this during the reading and reflection. It seems so intense to plan such a long campaign for an event that will be watched from around the world! I think it is important to create a story and stick with it throughout all communication for the Games in order to convey a clear message.

    So far, I like the branding that has been done for LA28. I like the whole “follow the sun” idea, as it plays on the idea of Southern California as eternally sunny and also goes with their focus on innovation and “the promise of tomorrow.” This message is found throughout their website and social media, and can even be seen in the colors of the LA2028 logo.

    I haven’t heard much about Tokyo 2020, but after looking at their website and some social media, I think that LA is actually already doing a better job at branding their Games. For LA2028, you can already see a cohesive strategy on their website, which I think Tokyo 2020 is lacking a bit.

    I love the gymnastics events! They are so impressive. Sometimes I’ll watch swimming, too. During the Winter Games, I usually watch the ice skating. For some reason during the last Winter Olympics, a bunch of my friends from my home church were obsessed with curling, which is hilarious to watch.

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  6. One of the biggest tasks has already been accomplished by the PR team for the 2028 Olympics, landing it. The amount of effort that goes into promoting your city for the Olympics is huge. So many cities are fighting for the next Olympics so you know whoever gets it has a killer PR team.

    After looking at the LA2028 Instagram, I’m impressed. The fact that there is already an Instagram and they are active on it, when the olympics is 12 years away, is impressive. It really shows that they are invested and in it for the long haul. I can’t imagine working on the same project for that long. But for something like the Olympics where there are so many different aspects, it can’t be boring.

    One thing I’m sure the PR team is ready for is crisis communication. When you’re dealing with professional athletes, this can be important. Athletes are extremely dedicated and impressive, especially at this level, but hey, sometimes they like to have a little too much fun…

    I am very excited to see that Softball is back in the Olympics and I will definitely be watching that along with track and maybe a couple of the smaller sports at 3am.

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  7. I absolutely love the olympics. I always look forward to them so reading about this campaign was really exciting for me! It is so crazy to imagine working on one campaign for so long, but I think the consistency throughout the process is what makes it so successful. Something that the LA2028 team is already doing that they should capitalize on is really pushing their main vision for how they want the games to impact the city and it’s people. This is something that was really successful in the London 2012 campaign where their mission was to inspire the next generation. I think they also need to be very prepared for in the crisis communication department. The London 2012 team was very good at this and showed how important it is for a team to be ready for the worst.

    I also read an article that talked about things the LA2028 team is already doing that I think are really setting them up for success. The article said that they are meeting with the teams from the Tokyo 2024 games and the Paris 2020 games. They are doing this to keep the olympic vision consistent with one another and really build off each olympic games. They are also investing $160 million into youth sports in the next 10 years to help benefit the community and stay true to their mission.

    I am most looking forward to watching gymnastics and swimming in the next olympics! Those are for sure my favorite events to watch. I am also looking forward to all the track and field events, especially the shorter distances.

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    1. Same here Sierra, Olympic season is one of my favorites! So this was such an interesting read for me. My personal favorite events are gymnastics and volleyball!

      That article you mentioned about LA2028 meeting with teams from Tokyo 2024 and Paris 2020 really caught my attention! I’ll have to take a look at that myself!

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  8. I think having a clear vision and strategy, one you can uphold and see to the end is important. As the London 2012 olympics had 3 strategy pinpoints, Los Angeles has a few too. The symbol of LA 2028 vision is “The Sun”. One of their hopes is to “reignite America’s passion for the Olympic Movement for generations to come”. This goes hand in hand with their overarch dream to “reimagine a New Games for a New Era”. I think having the Olympics in Los Angeles will be extremely busy, exciting, and historical. As the committee envisions a new awakening of excitement towards the olympics, how perfect to host them in one of the most popular, most traveled, and most creative city in the world. The city of dreams. Where olympic athletes will be making their own dreams come true, and where younger generations can start dreaming for their future, or establish their dream by meeting one of their favorite athletes.
    I have personally not kept up with the news about the future Olympics, but I did notice on their website that their most recent article was published towards the end of August and any other news before that was publish a whole year ago. So I’m assuming their isn’t much to promote yet, but I’m excited to retweet and support future blasts about LA2028. That’s in 10 years; crazy! I wonder how and where the promotion and campaigns will be displayed as social media changes over time.
    My favorite olympic sports are gymnastics, ice skating, swimming, snowboarding, and beach volleyball. I don’t think softball is in the olympics anymore, but I love softball and used to play it and as a little girl my dream was to one day play in the olympics. I also have high hopes for Spikeball becoming an Olympics sport one day. If ping-pong is in the olympics, then so can Spikeball.

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  9. Based on the campaign for the 2012 London Olympics, I would say the most important thing is to create a solid vision and narrative for the 2028 games. London kept to their narrative over the long term, which showed how they stayed true to their goal. Everyone could identify their goals, and their theme shined through everything they did. A recent topic of the Olympics has been the cost of the games for a city/country. This is something that LA will have to deal with and show how it will be beneficial for Americans. I honestly haven’t heard or seen much at all for the LA games. Therefore, this shows they need to start putting more out there in order to create buzz and create a narrative that the Americans can latch onto. My favorite Olympic sport to watch is gymnastics!!

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  10. I am sitting here trying to imagine what it would be like to be part of the same PR and communications team for 10 plus years. I’m thinking about all of the mini campaigns that need to take place on the road to 2028 and how a team of like-minded people can successfully create a vision, task list, and monthly goals for more than 120 months to date. For the London 2012 team, this seemed like the air they breathed. They kept a consistent five part identity that filtered every little thing they produced and decided on. This seems to be something to mark off LA’s checklist as they prepare for the 2028 Games.

    Looking at la28.org’s website, LA has already established a defining logo and vision for their 10 year campaign, which indicates a start to a successful pattern moving forward. Focusing on the reputation they hold as so many people chase the sun by settling in Los Angeles, they set a fantastic vision that appeals to the next generation which aligns with one of their ultimate goals. Tokyo, as they prepare for 2020, have been active on their social media showing their athletes and their beautiful city, generating constant buzz as they prepare for the next two years.

    When I watch the olympics, I love watching any sport that involves running. I love seeing human stamina and endurance in that form. And of course, the gymnasts always amaze me!

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  11. With a big event, such as the Olympics, it is expected that there needs a lot of planning and attention to details. With the Olympics being in Los Angeles in 2028, I can already see how the city is already starting to promote themselves. I went on la28.org and I can already see how LA is branding themselves as a city. The website is great so far, they provided a moveable map to see where events will be taken place during the summer games. I am interested to see how they continue to promote themselves, especially through social media. Like Emily mentioned, LA 2028 on Instagram is already active and they are really promoting their icon logo of the lady with butterfly wings. The colors of their logo are also constant on Instagram, which these colors appear to symbolize the beautiful sunsets that are displayed in SoCal.
    My favorite events to watch are definitely gymnastics, diving, and beach volleyball.

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  12. I think a 10 year campaign is INSANE but also, strategically very smart. Having a 10 year campaign would ensure that the whole world knows about the LA olympic games, but where would Laura Lamkin and her team even start? Presidential campaigns don’t even last 10 years! I feel like by having a campaign this long, it could be difficult to plan and strategize ahead of time, considering that technology, events, and trends are changing drastically every year. I remember going over a campaign for ‘Los Angeles’ in class last year and how the creative minds behind it were ‘rebranding’ it, and giving it a memorable logo. The video is super cool, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD8iIxfan00

    Anyways, going back to the 2028 games, they already have a website and instagram page up, as well as a very active twitter page. Their website is full of color and life, and it will be interesting to watch it over time to see how it changes. LA is so full of life, so getting people excited for the olympic games 10 years in advance will benefit the city and the olympic views. It will be interesting to see how the city changes and improves for this huge event over the years. My favorite olympic sport to watch is gymnastics and ice skating!

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  13. As a swimmer, I love the Olympics because it’s one of the only times I get to watch “my” sport on TV. It’s so crazy that there is a 10 year campaign for the Olympics because when I think of campaigns, I typically imagine they would be about a few weeks to a month long. The Olympic games are popular, so I think it will be easy to keep a buzz going, but I worry that people aren’t thinking 10 years ahead to 2028 at this point.

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    1. Nicole, I had the same thought in regard to thinking 10 years ahead. I can see how important it is for the Olympic committee and people more closely involved to start planning and organizing now, but I worry that the public will not really engage or think about it this far in advance.

      As many others have said, I’ve noticed the website, logo and how LA is already taking steps towards controlling traffic for the 2028 games. I too think that the Olympics are popular enough to somewhat create their own buzz and get people interested without having to do much PR so far in advance.

      I’ve always loved watching gymnastics, swimming, ice skating, and snowboarding. It was really cool to see someone from my high school compete and win 4 medals in swimming in the Rio Olympics.

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  14. I am most definitely a person who loves to start something and then check it off instantly or with a quick due date. To think of starting a campaign that would take 10 years, that would be a whirlwind in my mind. I would desperately be wanting to move onto something new or beyond curious of what the outcome would be. However, after contemplating this idea, it is what people are anticipating, and to be part of one of the most well-known viewing would be an honor.

    For this to become a successful campaign one must be on guard at all times. The beginning of the campaign compared to the end of the campaign, the world changed before one’s eyes. It is not the same society or values. I have seen L.A. take into consideration a range of things like traffic, people, culture, the difference in advertising, etc.

    Moreover, my favorite sport to watch would surprisingly be gymnastics. I am the most non-flexible person one will ever meet. However, I am instantly intrigued by the talent a gymnast exudes.

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  15. I actually haven’t seen any campaigns for the Los Angeles games yet. As for Tokyo I know they created an animated figure to represent the Tokyo Games throughout their campaign and are trying to make it a virtual reality experience.

    One thing that Los Angeles needs to remember is that we are hosting for all of the United States not just California, which I know can be difficult as there is so much that California holds. There definitely needs to be effort into traffics concerns, safety, and making sure the buildings can be repurposed and reused after. Luckily the campaign is 10 years away, but they have a lot of road work they not only need to finish but to begin.

    The nice thing about a longer campaign is there isn’t just one goal. There is one overarching goal, but there are so many events and things leading up to the one main event that if you fail in one area you can make it up later on and learn from those mistakes.

    My favorite events to watch are ice skating and gymnastics, but I also enjoy swimming and track and field and I watch water polo to support my friend who is on the Olympic team as a goalie.

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  16. Like many others have discussed and thought of, I feel like I haven’t seen a ton of info or promotions being done for the LA games, but what I do hear is complaints about traffic, logistics, etc. I feel like now will be the time for the campaign to mend those broken ideals about the games and build a better image for people to remember when they do think of the games. Since there is a good amount of time to build a better reputation, I think they need to utilize that to their advantage. California is a great place and I would hate for us to be known or thought of for just traffic and frustration.. we have so much more to offer!

    As for events I like to watch, I think I’m the typical gymnastics type of gal. I went to a training facility when I was in CO one time and we watched the trampoline people practicing and that was interesting as well. I also think the archery events are fun too!

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  17. In order for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angles to be a success they are going to need to building more interest than they have done so far. Another part is making sure that local businesses are educated on ways to be prepared for the large crowds that will be arriving to their doors. It is a great opportunity for local business. Also, the current campaign to attract tourism in California should think of ways to incorporate the games into their projects. Attracting international visitors is one of the current strategies targeted at getting California out of dept. Perhaps they can start events and attractions surrounded around the games now to attract tourist to California, making it a destination for travelers.

    So far I have not seem any campaigns, ads, or any other form of hype related to the 2028 games. With all the entertainment talent that we have located right here, it is a shock that nothing even remotely worth attention has happened around of the 2028 games. As a Los Angeles, California native I am disappointed with the team responsible.

    My favorite sports to watch during the games are tumbling, ribbon dancing, competitive dancing, as well as ice skating. I get hooked and that becomes that plans for the rest of the day. That’s all I’m doing for the hours until the winners are announced.

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  18. I cannot comprehend the amount strategic planning it would take to plan an event over the course of 10 years. It’s so neat that we’re getting to watch our city as they undergo the same preparation process! One concern I have about the LA 2028 Olympics is infrastructure. On la28.org, they feature a promotional video highlighting various freeways which “ensure quick travel times from village to venues.” It would be awesome if LA continued to add freeways and free up traffic, although I’m not sure what that would take financially or logistically.

    I do think it’s going to be wonderful to host the Games here. Involving local businesses, schools, and communities will be essential, as we saw with London’s Games in 2012. Personally, I feel as though those from LA love their city, so I think many residents will take pride in welcoming masses of new visitors.

    I’ve never liked sports, and the Olympics gets even me excited! My favorite is ice skating and gymnastics.

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  19. I personally have not seen any work for the LA olympic games aside from the many (and seemingly endless) construction projects in and around the city. I think they have to successfully prepare for the overwhelming amount of people who will come to the city, many even for the first time. They need to showcase the city at its very best state, so I think they are smart in starting basic projects well in advance. I will not be living in southern California by the time these olympics roll around, but it will be interesting to view it from a far on social media and television. LA is a very diverse city, with art being a huge draw so I think that the campaign should have aspects that reflect this in order to represent the city well.

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  20. Not going to lie, when I read this post I was like, “Wait… the 2028 Olympics are in LA?”. So based off of that, I am able to say that I personally have not heard anything in regards to this subject or have seen a campaign for it at all. I feel like in order for them to have a successful campaign, they are going to have to be wise on their timing of releasing information and making sure that there is a buzz on this subject for a long time. Working on spreading the word and making sure that this is something that people are thinking about in the back of their mind when they think about LA is going to be of importance.

    The sports that I watch are gymnastics, swim, and figure skating. 🙂

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