In February 2018, Under the slogan “Passion .. Connected”, South Korea will be put center stage as it hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, one of the world’s mega sporting events. Anticipation is rising on how South Korea will be able to leverage on this opportunity to showcase its nation’s brand. Our berries interviewed the PyeongChang Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (POCOG).
BB:There is an increased awareness of the strategic contribution of hosting a sport mega event on a nations brand. How will POCOG help South Korea leverage on the 2018 Games to elevate its global image?
POCOG: By hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, South Korea will be put on a global sporting stage and be able to share its story with the world. An Olympic Games goes beyond a sporting event, it reaches many elements of life – culture, tourism, entertainment, local engagement. South Korea can take advantage of this and showcase the brand of the nation to a captive audience. The Korean and provincial tourism boards are working very closely with the Games to help spread the news of the Games and all that the country has to offer around the world before, during and after the Olympics and Paralympics are staged in PyeongChang.
BB: The role of local citizens in image creation: How will POCOG leverage the Games to engage local citizens in creating shared experiences?
POCOG:There are a lot of opportunities at the Games for the local community to be part of the experience. They can volunteer across a wide range of roles; the can apply to be a torchbearer in the countrywide torch relay and they can come and support the Games – buying tickets and cheering on the athlete’s. They can also help be the voice of the Games by welcoming tourists and athletes to their country with open arms and helping them see what a wonderful place it is. The local community really helps to make an Olympics come to life and the Gangwon province is very proud to be hosting the 2018 Games.
BB: Can the Games help in the brand repositioning of South Korea as a nation and gain competitive advantage in different sectors such as tourism and investment?
POCOG: The Games can certainly help put South Korea firmly on the tourist map. This has been the case for many past Games.The Seoul 1988 Games introduced Korea to the international community. The fact that Seoul now joins the ranks of London, Paris, and Los Angeles is a source of pride to every one of the 50 million citizens of the Republic of Korea.The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will mark 30 years since Seoul played host so PyeongChang 2018 is an opportunity to reintroduce Korea to the world as a global leading country and present PyeongChang to the world.
A global audience through TV and host of digital channels will be able to see and experience PyeongChang from afar, and those that come to attend the Games will get the experience first-hand and we hope they will all share their experiences and encourage others to follow.The Games helps to open up more tourism opportunities and it is hoped that more inward investment will also happen as a result of this.
BB: Will hosting the Games create an opportunity for brand emotional attachment to the place that can benefit South Korea as a nation?
POCOG: The province of Gangwon is hosting the Games but these are the Winter Games of the country as a whole. The torch relay will travel across the entire country, sharing the passion and excitement of the Games and some of the major cities around the country will be hosting events during the Games to engage as many people as they can.The brands supporting the Games will get recognition not just at a local level but internationally as well. The brands will hope to connect with their consumer base through the Games and connect with the positive message that comes from the Games and being associated with that.
BB: How will POCOG capture and reflect the cultural authenticity of South Korea in the Olympic brand experience while maintaining the global essence as a mega global sports brand?
POCOG: Korea is already growing its influence on pop culture, from beauty products to K-pop. PyeongChang 2018 is an opportunity to promote both contemporary and traditional culture to the world. Events such as the opening and closing ceremonies will feature traits that are both unique and common to outsiders. For more details, come visit PyeongChang during the Games and experience the Korean culture through sports.
For More Information, visit www.pyeongchang2018.com