Thursday, May 3, 2012

The London Lifestyle

Bicycles in Turnham Green
Today started bright and early when we traveled out to the IMG offices — a global sport, entertainment and media group. We spent the majority of the day in the IMG conference room, where various employees spoke to us about their work.

Kate and I at the IMG offices
We heard from people who work in the Golf, Tennis, Wimbledon Licensing, Media Production and other sectors of the huge company. My favorite speaker was Kate Johnson, a Michigan alum who won the silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games for rowing. Kate has the awesome job of working with various Olympic Sponsors and developing their marketing campaign around the games. Specifically, she helped devise the British Airway's campaign where they offer discounted flights to all Olympic athletes through BA. 

It's a great plan in my opinion, and she had so much passion for connecting the BA brand to the experience of the athletes. I think her ability to bring the athlete's perspective into sponsorship strategies is awesome. While many companies just focus on the consumers and spectators of the games, it's important to remember that corporations aim to support the Olympic Games — which include thousands of athletes too. Kate's commitment to connecting the athletes to the corporations was really inspiring and gave new meaning to the Olympic sponsorship programs. Sponsors should support athletes, and her plan for BA allows the corporation to grow as well as support athletes who utilize the discounted flights during their road to the Olympics.

Chocolate heaven in Harrods
After our trip at IMG, we traveled into the heart of the city to go to Harrods department store. While the store boasts a huge section of designer brands, exquisite clothing and beautiful interior design, my favorite part had to be the "food halls." Fresh food of all different types shined through glass cases. From decadent pastries, fresh pastas, Indian cuisine, to frozen yogurt — I was in food heaven. I purchased a delicious salad for dinner, as well as the best scone I've had in my entire life. It was chocolate hazelnut, and the consistency of the scone was fluffy perfection. 

Displays in the Harrods window
It's interesting how the branding of the Olympic games can be found throughout London. Even the window displays of Harrods, which showcased pages from the store's magazine, featured models in athletic poses and with athletic equipment to connect to the games. These displays, of course, didn't have the Olympic logo since they are not a TOP sponsor. Very interesting to see marketing tactics in action!

Sclark and I in one of our favorite patisseries
Each day we stay in London, I discover something new I love about the culture here. While riding the subway home during rush hour is a bit mad, I love picking up the copy of the London Evening Standard that is handed out on the tube platforms. Everyone on the train picks up the paper and reads it during their commute, and I so enjoy seeing print journalism utilized by so many people. Reading the Evening Standard also gives me an insight into the culture of London, and it's interesting to see their reporting style. My nerdy journalism moment of the day: discovering that London reporters place the period outside of the quotation. "Like so". Very interesting to the copy editor nerd the I am.

After traveling back to Liverpool on the crazy rush hour tube, I took a walk with Christine and Sclark down to an area that looks like Diagon Alley from Harry Potter and to the Tower of London/Tower Bridge. The bridge is so beautiful, and I learned that contrary to popular belief, it is not the London Bridge. That is located elsewhere in London. We took a bunch of pictures there, but I didn't bring my camera so look forward to those photos later.

I capped off the evening with a cinnamon latte and a copy of The Daily Telegraph in a coffee shop in Liverpool. Watching the city slow down with the warm cup in my hand and newspaper in front of me, I found myself thinking I could very easily adjust to this London lifestyle :)

Proper phone booth packing!

No comments:

Post a Comment