American Youth Could Be The Winners From This Weeks Olympic “games”

This past week saw the seven sports vying to be brought into the Olympics in 2016 and the four cities bidding to host the Games all travel to Lausanne, Switzerland for presentations to the International Olympic Committee Executive Board as well as the the membership countries of the IOC (for the cities presentations). The Chicago Tribune's Phil Hersch has a great summary of all the back and forth that went on throughout the week, including at least three of the cities being named by someone as a favorite, and no less than four of the seven sports projected to have the best chance, best presentation or fastest movement up (no one was acknowledged to have slid down, others just moved ahead) in a week of true gamesmanship. However one of the better moves of the week for all amateur sports in the United States took place on Monday in Washington, when President Obama named a new office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport. The timing sent a clear but subtle message to the IOC that sports, especially Olympic sports, are now a high priority for a President that helped use a sports platform to get to casual voters during his campaign. The move also gives the US a “Head of Sport” that virtually every other country has, and could potentially help create and administer a uniform vision…and potential amazing branding and marketing opportunities for someone who is able to unify groups that constantly fight for the same dollar, same branding opportunity, and same audience. The position can also help administer policy so that athletics leading to healthy lifestyles does become the priority in schools here that is used to be, all quality messages and potential for those involved in the space. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the games for the Olympic Games continued, with countless dollars spent on presentations, lobbyists and travel by all groups…monies that probably would be best served in building the brand of sport with their constituents and participants. The Olympic games remain big bucks and mega branding opportunities and can still create tremendous good will and a legacy for all involved. The hope is that the legacy does outweigh the cost for the long term, especially for those five sports and three cities that will not be chosen in Copenhagen in October. Even with all the spending, pomp and circumstance, the biggest winner this week may already be the youth of America…and maybe even those brands which can more clearly serve them…through President Obama's deftly timed move as the political games begen this week. A move which could have Olympic sized popularity if the office does what it could do.

Some other good reads…Jon Marks in the Philadelphia Examiner has a good piece on MMA's move into Philly….the Washington Post had a great piece on Twitter's role in the Iranian elections…Media Post had a great piece on the role of social media in President Obama's election… had a good piece on the Giants naming rights issues…and the Washington Times had a good piece on Comcast's expanding role in online media coverage