After overseeing Eurostar’s move to St Pancras, Greg took on the challenge of marketing London’s Games with a sceptical media ready to pounce on every slip. He initiated a regular dialogue with the public and 23,000 local community leaders, renamed volunteers Gamesmakers, and supervised thousands of branded items. In an uplifting set piece speech Greg suggests the Games provide lessons for every business about bravery and positive engagement.
Greg Nugent served as Director of Brand, Marketing and Culture for the London Olympics and Paralympics. He was responsible for everything from customer relationships to the look of the Games. He built a database of 5.5 million attendees, turned volunteers into Gamesmakers and coined the phrase ‘Inspiring a Generation’. He now applies the Olympic lessons and more to the business world.
With a background in political polling (having worked on elections on both sides of the Atlantic), Greg likens a brand or business to a political campaign. In the run-up to the Olympics, he and his team engaged 23,000 community leaders and weaved a thread from the athletes through to the public, with the aim to create ‘A Games for Everybody.’ He suggests that a brand needs to speak to people, avoiding corporate language internally and externally, whilst remaining consistent and reliable and maintaining a focus on the organisation’s purpose.
As well as engaging the public, Greg and his London 2012 team helped identify and resolve 702 problems, working with partners of all types, and under the watchful eye of the world media. They had to deal with the branding of 87,000 different items, build a strategic user experience, and plan for the unexpected from queuing problems to security emergencies. As a testament to the Games’ success, 89% of those surveyed afterwards said it was “the best thing that’s ever happened in the UK.”
In presentations Greg draws lessons from this once-in-a-lifetime event that apply to any brand or business, of any size or type. They range from the importance of planning, training and defining a vision to developing a customer experience and involving everyone in the challenges faced by the organisation. He relates his message to the specific conference and business themes, and includes stirring footage from London 2012.
Before joining LOCOG Greg was Head of Marketing at Eurostar, where he helped steer HS1 and the move to St Pancras. He has since acted as strategic advisor to HS2 and as Deputy Chair of The Join In Trust, is building on the volunteering legacy of the Gamesmakers to help community sports clubs.
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Greg’s the man who coined one of the defining terms of the London Olympics: the ‘Gamesmakers.’ It’s fascinating to hear him compare the strategies behind 2012 with his experience at Eurostar and the US Presidential campaign. Hismessage of trust and belief is honest and simple – but what stands out is his passion, his mastery of complex data and his sheer communication skills. JLA Agent Paul Warran
JLA Speakers Breakfast