Coe says Olympic sponsors need a better “narrative” about their role (while interviewer Martin Sorrell prepares to carry Olympic torch)

Sebastian Coe says Olympic sponsors need a better narrative

Sebastian Coe talking about Olympic sponsors – image from Brand Republic

Olympic sponsors have been “reluctant” and “shy” in promoting their role in staging the London 2012 Olympics, according to the LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe – and need to tell a “coherent and compelling narrative”, BrandRepublic reports.

The remarks, made at the Cannes Lions Festival, blamed negative coverage of sponsors’ involvement in the torch relay on a “willful refusal [by journalists] to understand the nature of the Games’ funding arrangements”.

It is not clear what element of their involvement was being covered negatively.

Coe added:

“The job of [publicising sponsors’ contribution] is partly Locog’s, of course [but] not all the brands have explained it well on their own behalf. There is a very good story to tell and they’re not always the best communicators in this market.

“I have been saying to them, we all need to tell this legacy story government, the organising committee, the London boroughs, the individual competitors and yes, [sponsors] need to be able to have a compelling narrative.”

The comments were made following a session during which the LOCOG chairman spoke on stage in a session hosted by WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell previously headed up a council of advisers to the London Mayor on maximising business benefits from the games.

As it happens, there is also a Martin Sorrell will be carrying the torch in Redbridge. He does not give a nomination story, but is aged 67 – the same age as the WPP executive. UPDATE: The Daily Mail spot this too.

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