Michael Payne Exclusive Featured Profile with iSportconnect

March 15, 2011

Michael Payne, Strategic Adviser / Consultant, has taken part in an exclusive Featured Profile interview with iSportconnect news editor Martin Laurence.

Payne spoke to iSportconnect about his 30 year career in the sports marketing industry starting from his own experiences as a British Champion skier. He joked that he soon became aware of his superior ability to broker personal sponsorship deals than winning races and in turn began representing his fellow athletes.

Payne discussed how he felt that the industry had changed dramatically since his career in the field began and how some of his work at the IOC was at the forefront of that change. He went on to state that his best-selling book, Olympic Turnaround, was written as ‘a balanced history lesson’ to be used as an aide memoir of what to do and what not to do from a host nation’s perspective. The process is an area of immense experience to Payne after strong involvements in the recent successful bids of London 2012 and Rio 2016. He stated that such high interest in bidding to host major sporting competitions was a completely different story from that of the 70s and 80s now that cities and nations have began ‘to understand how to use the big event as a vehicle for transformational change.’

He spoke about the successes of the TOP programme in redefining Olympic sponsorship and how he felt its continued achievements did not seem to be coming to an end. The programme has recently secured major deals with the likes of marketing powerhouses such as Proctor & Gamble and Payne feels that such deals were ‘a big boost and validation that the programme is still going very strong.’

Payne stated that the ability to listen to what is truly needed from a client was key to some of the major deals which he was involved in. He spoke of how the Rio Olympic bid succeeded due to admittance from the government of Brazil, that they did not understand this particular bidding electorate. Michael put the success of Brazil’s Olympic bid down to the fact that they were the only one of the bidders to answer the question ‘why?’ Payne feels that this accomplishment was what eventually won the bidding process over rivals such as Chicago, whose politicians felt that they understood elections.

As well as his involvement as an advisor to the London and Rio Olympic bids, Michael speaks of his role at the F1 alongside Bernie Ecclestone and his privilege at working with some of the biggest companies in the world throughout his career. Although Mr Payne could not pick out one single proudest moment in his career, he highlighted that ‘helping the Brazilians to win the right to host the Games’ along with the IOC’s US rights deal, one of the last in his time there, as ‘one of the biggest ever in the Olympic world.’

Editors Note:

Michael Payne is a Strategic Adviser to Broadcast and Media, Governments and International Sports Events, Companies and Corporations. He led the global marketing effort for the Olympic Movement for more than two decades, from 1983 to 2004, as the IOC’s first ever Marketing and Broadcast Rights Director.

In September 2004, following the Athens Olympic Games, Michael resigned from the IOC to become an independent strategic sports marketing consultant. He joined the management team of F1, as special adviser to the Chairman – C and CEO, Mr Bernie Ecclestone. In addition he took on a number of other senior strategic advisory roles, including that of the successful London 2012 Olympic Bid and Rio 2016 Olympic bids.

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