Sunday, June 12, 2011

London 2012 Organizers Unveil "Goldfinger" Olympic Torch

If James Bond's nemesis Auric Goldfinger survived being sucked out of his personal aircraft, he'd be smiling at the new Olympic torch unveiled last week by LOCOG.

The gold-toned metal torch is already getting nicknames, and I'm here to add an Ian Fleming/007 connection (in case 1948 Olympic silver medalist Harold Sakata, a.k.a. "Oddjob," did not already connect London's Olympic heritage to the British secret agent).

London's celebration next year will include the three-sided -- you read it here first, I think -- "Goldfinger" Olympic torch to be carried across Greece and the U.K. starting May 19, 2012.

With details from the organizing committee press release, here's a bit more about the LOCOG Olympic torch by the numbers:

-- The design measures 800 cm long, weighs 800g and includes 8,000 perforations or rings symbolic of the 8K torchbearers who will use the torches to pass the flame

-- Approximately 110 runners per day will participate in the 70-day 2012 Olympic torch relay, maintaining the Olympic tradition and long-distance publicity event started in 1936

-- The three-sided design is symbolic of several Olympic triumvirates: "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (faster, higher, stronger, the Olympic motto), the three London Olympiads (1908, 1948, 2012) and Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship. Though not spelled out in the LOCOG press release, the three-sides could also represent the three presenting sponsors of the 2012 Olympic torch relay: Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB.

-- The torch is made of an aluminum alloy (and Al is No. 13 on the periodic chart).

-- Sean Connery's age during the relay: 81 (please, oh, please, he'll carry the torch somewhere).

From my view, the London Olympic torch is a winner, and from a coolness factor, is closest in design to the 2006 Torino Olympic torch.

What do you think of the 2012 Olympic torch design?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Update

At work at Edelman, we've been cooking up something spectacular for a client, which is exhilarating and also keeping me busy sans blogging of late.

Catching up on some recent suggestions that hit this Olympic blogger's in box, here's a roundup of five-ringed briefs for consideration:

-- The U.S. Olympic Training Center now has a new Team USA Shop, which opened May 17 with Olympic gold medalist Curt Tomasevicz of bobsleigh signing autographs (see photo). Though it is good news there is a new shop, which I will frequent on future visits to the USOTC (my home for summer of 1995 internship), scanning the merchandise at the online shop reminds me how since the late 1980s the USOC's merch usually brought a cringe to my brow. From my view the folks who select the range of merchandise go too much for "mass appeal" while the items are plain and of moderate quality. How about some Made In The USA 100 percent cotton polo shirts with London 2012 logos, or some new creative on the lapel pins? I hope the shop's partnership with Staples Promotional Products will bring some new blood and new ideas.

-- Coca-Cola celebrated its 125th anniversary by donning its Midtown Atlanta skyscraper headquarters with fabric screens on which to project massive imagery from their iconic advertising. The effect was spectacular -- very cool to see from across the street and across town. Wishing they had seized the opportunity to project images from their Olympic partnerships since the 1928 Olympic Games (not a single Olympic connection was projected, from what I could tell).

-- It's not new news, but was reminded of rugby sevens as an addition to the Olympic roster for 2016, with Olympic rugby starting at Rio de Janiero. An interesting site that will help me learn more about rugby is

-- Not a fitness enthusiast myself, but for those who are, keep an eye open for and their blog.

Photo via Team USA Shop/USOC

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NBC Loves The Olympics $4.38 Billion Ways

Today in the International Olympic Committee's hometown Lausanne, Switzerland, I suspect several fishermen cast their lines from the northern banks of Lake Geneva.

But NBCUniversal landed the catch of the day -- and the next four Olympiads -- securing the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games' U.S. broadcast rights for a staggering $4.38 billion, according to published reports.

I once paid $4.38 for a Coca-Cola beverage in Lausanne, so maybe something in the water there gets people spending money.

The Los Angeles Times ran an interesting video and print report highlighting the NBCUniversal bid and the IOC. Though I was looking forward to a potential change up from NBC's "storytelling" from the Games (as noted in previous Olympic blog post), there is some comfort knowing that Bob Costas may be at the helm at the Games for another decade.

With Fox bidding, I shuttered to think of Bill O'Reilly spewing Olympic "commentary" for even a second.

Photo via Wikipedia

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