Adidas’s torchbearers share a common story

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.

Adidas torchbearers Tom Foley and Christos Angelides share the same nomination story

Adidas torchbearers Tom Foley, Christos Angelides, and 5 others share the same nomination story

Are Chris Caddick, and Jay Boey Adidas’s Warehouse Systems Manager and Category Manager for adidas respectively? 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…

UPDATE: adidas admit company bosses were chosen to carry the Olympic torch.

Torchbearer hometown age Location date
Christos Angelides Solihull 49 Stafford 30-May
Tom Foley Dickensheath 43 Stafford 30-May
Clare Ennis North Lanarkshire 35 Knotty Ash 01-Jun
Duncan Malins Tewkesbury 33 Birkenhead 01-Jun
Ian Dawson York 38 Chorley 01-Jun
Joanne Moseley Manchester 34 Horwich 01-Jun
Jonathan Collinge Cheshire 50 Huyton 01-Jun
Judy Higginson Macclesfield 60 St Helen’s 01-Jun
Anthony Barron London 38 Workington 21-Jun
Chris Caddick Warrington 47 Keswick 21-Jun
Joe Carby London 28 Workington 21-Jun
Mark Metherell Fareham 34 Lancaster 22-Jun
Antoine Hadjimanolis Manchester 32 Rusholme 24-Jun
James Nichols Manchester 31 Brighouse 24-Jun
Jay Boey “Didsbury, Manchester” 29 Huddersfield 24-Jun
Lucy Speakman Manchester 38 Bradford 24-Jun
Pauline Sheppard Macclesfield 42 Ashton-under-Lyne 24-Jun
Robin Money Holmes Chapel 66 Stockport 24-Jun
Ross Banks Stoke-On-Trent 34 Huddersfield 24-Jun
Simon Chapman Wigan 24 Levenshulme 24-Jun
Drashti Shah Harrow 16 The London Borough of Newham 21-Jul

Full data available on Buzzdata here.



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