If adidas’s own representatives are any indication, the way to get your hands on the Olympic torch in 2012 is to be “engaged in the business of sport for a number of years”.
An analysis of nomination stories on the London2012 site has found that
7 8 [UPDATE – see below] torchbearers were nominated with the same ‘nomination story’: Christos Angelides, Clare Ennis, Lucy Speakman, Simon Chapman, Chris Caddick, Jay Boey and Tom Foley – and now Mark Newton-Jones:
“Carrying the Olympic Flame is a once in a lifetime experience and I am grateful to be selected. To carry it on behalf of adidas, a company with a history of encouraging participation in sport, is an added bonus. I have been engaged in the business of sport for a number of years and I hope I have also contributed to the development of sport in our country.”
So who are they?
Most interesting is Christos Angelides – could this be the same Christos Angelides who is Group Product Director for Next, ranked 15th in Drapers Powerlist 2011 with a pay packet of £900k? Next are the official clothing and homeware supplier to the London Olympics,
but a phonecall is needed… UPDATE: Confirmed.
And is that the Tom Foley that is general manager of Intersport? UPDATE: Confirmed.
We can confirm that Simon Chapman is on their Internal Communications and Marketing Services graduate programme, as he talks about being “selected by adidas and LOCOG to carry the Olympic torch for the London 2012 Olympic Games.” on his LinkedIn profile.
UPDATE: Mark Newton-Jones was later added to the torchbearers site with the same story. Newton-Jones is the boss of Shop Direct.
As for Clare Ennis and Lucy Speakman? We have no idea. Do you?
UPDATE: An interview with Clare Ennis 6 years later (via Barnie Choudhury) reveals that she worked for Adidas: “I ran with the Olympic Torch in the Olympic Torch relay in 2012. I was lucky enough to work for Adidas, and have a wonderful leaving present from Jessica Ennis” Her LinkedIn profile confirms that at the time she was working as a trainer for the North Europe Market, having previously worked as a retail manager.
There are 21 torchbearers in total who mention Adidas in their nomination story (only 6,000 of the expected 8,000 torchbearers are listed on the official website, and 5,890 of those have nomination stories).
They include Ian, who has “made a fantastic contribution to the adidas group business”; Judy, who “breathes adidas … Her positive attitude and ‘money in [t]he till’ approach is legendary”; Mark, who “has been a massive influence on store sales driving the team forward at every opportunity”; and Antoine, who has “contributed to the adidas brand by setting up the Belgian adiDirect service in 2004 and achieving my sales targets in every market I have worked in.”
Anthony is a store manager; Ross is a member of the IT team (“The warehouse is a critical component to adidas and ensuring that the systems are available 100% of the time is the only way all departments in Operations can meet their targets”). And there’s a significant proportion from the north west of England, with over half from that region, including 5 from Manchester. Unlike torchbearers as a whole, where under-20s dominate, around half are in their thirties, and only one is under 24.
But aside from the stories of corporate achievement, you can find some inspiring tales
Drashti, for example, is a Young Ambassador who has “helped organize various events for younger children. We’ve held numerous events for primary schools to get active. I’ve also spent time with disabled children helping them complete different activities, helping them socialize and improving their teamwork skills. I’ve spent time encouraging people to take part in races, getting involved in lunch time activities. I had the chance to enjoy sports when I was small, and now I want the same for all the kids younger than me.”
Joanne Moseley has directed “the 2010 Intelligent Sports Challenge fundraising to a record £15k figure. In my spare time I have also driven my passion through giving sixty colleagues, friends and family their Chance of a Lifetime with participation in the Hyde Park Olympic Course Triathlon. Recently I have worked behind the scenes in the AGCC and organised the entry into Cycletta where adidas achieved second place.”
And Jonathan “inspires the next generation through his work with our charity Jumpspace and the kids at Stockport School.”
But these represent just a small proportion of the people carrying the torch for adidas. I wonder how the other sponsors made their choices…
|Clare Ennis||North Lanarkshire||35||Knotty Ash||01-Jun|
|Judy Higginson||Macclesfield||60||St Helen’s||01-Jun|
|Jay Boey||“Didsbury, Manchester”||29||Huddersfield||24-Jun|
|Robin Money||Holmes Chapel||66||Stockport||24-Jun|
|Drashti Shah||Harrow||16||The London Borough of Newham||21-Jul|