I woke up on Wednesday morning as I usually do, but this morning’s commute was going to be ever so slightly different than the others. I had a little detour to make on my way to the office.
Starting at 7:44am, the Olympic Torch was making its way from the always-dramatic York Minster to the National Railway Museum right behind the York Railway station. I decided to camp along the route for a few minutes waiting for the torch procession to march by. I can’t say I was filled with immense anticipation; I was more or less curious.
As I was waiting, there were droves of staff buzzing about with importance. Police officers, runners, volunteers and promotional staff were dutifully prepping for what was to be a major moment. As an experiential marketer working for a sports, leisure, and experiential marketing agency, my eyes quickly focused on the experiential activity.
The only activity that stood out was Coca-Cola handing out what I first thought was a Frisbee but after further inspection was a drum-like noisemaker. They had a well-branded (though quite typical) Mini Cooper wearing headphones with a cool trailer shaped like an 80’s ‘Boom Box’… Though there was nothing playing from them, possibly due to York Council noise bylaws.
The flame went by quickly, I took a couple of photos whilst banging the noisemaker off my knee. I was then bowled over by a incredibly important NHS worker with an inflated sense of self worth who was admonishing the crowds as we were impeding his walk to work. After that randomness, I went about my normal duties of travelling to the office.
As an experiential marketer, I must say that the impact was minimal. I have a decent souvenir and a three-minute Olympic experience. I was wanting more. I’m not sure what, just more. It’s forced me to question, are Olympic sponsors getting all they can from their sponsorship of London 2012?