The 2011 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals doubled up as the Olympic test event for table tennis, at the London 2012 venue of ExCeL.
The best table tennis players in the world, including the previous two men’s singles Olympic gold medallists, along with a wealth other World and Olympic medal holders, were in contention for a share of the $365,000 prize money and to get valuable experience in the venue that will be used for the Olympic Games.
I was the Olympic Test Event Media Manager, as well as being in charge of event marketing and project managing all marketing and pre event promotional work, along side my team of professional staff. Unlike most major events I have worked on which are run by one organisation, this one had several ring leaders and required a very detailed and structured approach, along with a lot of cross organisational work between the hosts and organisers The English Table Tennis Association (ETTA), the tournament owners, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
Pre Event: Prior to the event my role involved project managing the pre event promotions, website creation, media accreditation, publicity and PR, as well as planning for all of the media requirements at the event.
Event Work: During the Olympic test event I was the Media Manager for the large press contingent made up of 148 accredited journalists covering, print, web, radio, photography and TV. Although a high proportion were from the leading UK Press, the event attracted world wide exposure, with representation from Brazil, Hungary, Japan, China, Australia and mainland Europe. My main tasks for this involved arranging interviews with players and key individuals, running and overseeing the Media Centre, ensuring all members of the media adhered to the IOC regulations being enforced by LOCOG and making the journalistic process as smooth as possible for those attending.
From an internal perspective I was also overseeing a team of ETTA staff who were producing in depth coverage across all digital mediums, as well as LOCOG staff acting as mixed zone and photography managers.
This level of competition attracts a global market in a normal year, but with the added “Olympic Effect” the media interest dramatically increases, as demonstrated by the attraction of close to 150 journalists. Below is a summary of some of the publications that reported on the event:
o Guardian o BBC Sport Website o Inside The Games o Today o Sky Sports o Eurosport o The Metro o The Evening Standard o More Than The Games o BBC o Channel News Asia o Telegraph o The Score o Around The Rings o Sporting Life o CNN
Media Management, marketing and project management for the London 2012 Olympic Test Event for table tennis, doubling up as the 2011 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals.