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May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…
May 26, 2020

Stellar example Duncan teaches art of adaptability

Marcus Duncan knows how to adapt to different circumstances. While other athletes have suffered because…
May 24, 2020

Chow remains focused Olympic rower trains harder during lockdown

For Team Trinidad and Tobago’s top rower Felice Aisha Chow, being defeated by the circumstamces…
May 23, 2020

TTOC President Lewis claims cancellation of Tokyo 2020 would put NOCs in "a big hole"

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis claimed the cancellation of the Tokyo…
May 22, 2020

Lewis: Olympic cancellation not good for NOCs

Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee says a great number of National Organising…
May 18, 2020

Mother of invention Athlete Talks, Ultimate Garden Clash born out of Covid-19

I could not have imagined how excited I would get watching on my computer screen…

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Thursday, 28 May 2020 23:52
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Wednesday, 27 May 2020 00:48
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Wednesday, 27 May 2020 00:48

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Sir Martin Sorrell, boss of advertising giant WPP, today wowed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the message that the need to engage with young people has "never been more urgent".

In a virtuoso keynote speech to start the day’s proceedings, Sir Martin complimented his audience on the "very bold step" of setting up an Olympic TV Channel, while urging them to be "brave", "determined" and "proud of delivering the future of the Olympic Movement through this new medium".

His long, pithy, almost academic masterclass on the state of global media and its implications for stakeholders in the sporting movement, triggered a spate of questions that carried the event far beyond its allotted time-span.

Afterwards, the 70-year-old Englishman was accorded the rock star treatment by his usually worldly-wise spectators, being asked to pose for a photograph that was then beamed across the Twitter-sphere.

Much of Sir Martin’s message was about the need for the sports movement to take to new media applications like Snapchat, Periscope and, of course, Facebook - "effectively the biggest country in the world" - in addition to more traditional media, to communicate with young people and set out the Olympic proposition on the platforms where they felt comfortable and which they were actually using.

"You have the ultimate story platform," he told IOC members.

However, "it is not enough for the IOC to concentrate on TV.

"If you do, you miss the young generation…

"For many young people in fast-growing areas, the only way they will experience a sporting event is via mobile."

He also urged IOC members to look on video games "as being a competitor".

The man whose company is responsible for investing something like $80 billion (£51 billion/€73 billion) a year around the world in media of all sorts, had reassuring words for IOC media strategists, whose efforts enable the body to generate more than $4 billion (£2.6 billion/€3.6 billion) per Olympic quadrennium from the sale of broadcasting rights to Olympic events, the Movement's biggest revenue stream.

For now, he suggested, in response to a question from Juan Antonio Samaranch, the strategy whereby rights to all major media platforms, new and old, tend to be sold in a bundle to a single media partner for a given geographic region was the right one.

What is more, the IOC possessed "an understanding of how to engage with traditional TV partners that is truly unparalleled".

However, with the likes of Google and Facebook set in all likelihood to emerge as large media content companies who will want live sporting rights to feed into their mix, "there will be a point in time where the question of unbundling will arise".

Sir Martin also advised the IOC, given the difficulty of achieving guaranteed confidentiality in digital communications, that "you have to run your operation totally on a transparent basis".

He went on: "I think basically sunlight is good.

"It is the best disinfectant there is."