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The London Bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games

We working on behalf of the South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and London 2012 to set up and run the London 2012 Olympic Bid Office that helped promote the bid across the South West. We also worked with UK’s Nations and Regions Group with London 2012 and coordinated their contribution to the Bid. It was also vital that the Olympics Minister and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport were kept informed.

The Context

This was a sixteen-month initiative to work with London 2012 Ltd and regional partners to support the successful bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. The UK bid was in competition with Moscow, Madrid, New York and Paris, so any work would be extremely visible on the world stage.

The Solution

Chocolate Dog Marketing Services established the South West Olympic Bid Office as the focal point for all London 2012 work. A key part of the promotional activity focussed on Weymouth and Portland, Dorset so that this area would be selected to host the sailing.

It was vital to maintain media momentum over such a long campaign. A creative approach using the iconic places and people in the South West and featuring a call to action demonstrably showing our support was developed. Regular email updates supported our viral campaign and informed a growing number of supporters who in turn cascaded the message.

To prepare for a successful outcome, strategic research audited the sporting and supporting facilities in the region to inform the strategy for Pre Games Training Camps.  A creative “countdown” PR campaign was carried out to increase support nationally. Stonehenge, The Eden Project, The Roman Baths, the Cerne Abbas Giant, hundreds of sporting clubs, businesses, individuals and community groups all played their part – not forgetting our regional media who really got behind our work and really helped! 

The Output

Thanks to all the support London won!! Thank you!

"The winning of the 2012 Olympic Games for London was due in no small part to the commitment, creativity and boundless energy of Sue Handford. Her ideas and influence reached far beyond the South West, the Eden Project and Stonehenge as well as to London itself.  She became much respected by the London 2012 team as a leading facilitator of the vital support provided by the Nations and Regions Group”.

Juliet Williams - Chairman, South West England Regional Development Agency

“The South West RDA Olympic Bid Office, through Sue Handford at Chocolate Dog, has worked closely with Jon Armstrong and the London 2012 team, developing communication with Regions and Nations members, coordinating input and providing additional resource when needed. In particular the Office has developed a long-term strategic benefit to the region through their detailed Audit and thorough the Olympic Ideal Brochure. However, the communications action plan implemented has particularly supported the team. A range of creative approaches has helped the bid team, and London 2012 was able to use material generated in the South West during the IOC Evaluation Committee visit in February.  London 2012 used the images in the final presentations in Singapore in July.

  • Stunning Iconic Images from the Eden project and Stonehenge
  • The Giant Flags and the tour across the region
  • Working closely with Weymouth and Portland
  • Working with education –IOC Weymouth College DVD
  • Business Presentations across the region

This has all helped develop a strong unique bid and added to the energy and enthusiasm across the UK.”
Mike Lee – Director of Communications, London 2012 Ltd, now Chairman of Vero Communications

“Thank you for all your hard work in helping the RDA to make good its commitment, not just on behalf of South West England but also other English regions and nations, to assist London in winning the right to hold the Olympic Games in 2012.. Without your involvement, I am sure that we - and the London 2012 Team - would have failed to make such a marked impression of the regions and nations' support for the London bid. The hours you put in went well beyond the call of duty, but the iconic images of Eden and Stonehenge, and the Weymouth College students' video, for example, not only demonstrated the extent of support across the regions and nations, but also made a strong impression on the IOC evaluation committee as well”.
Guy Price – Director of Strategy and Performance, South West RDA.