A lot of people must be asking, how on earth did ill-favoured McCann Erickson manage to beat the mighty WPP to Locog’s prestigious 2012 Olympics advertising account? Not least among them, Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s nettled chief executive.
How Brett and Lee won the Olympics for McCann
The short answer is: Brett Gosper, McCann Worldgroup EMEA president and his secret weapon, Lee Daley.
It can be no coincidence that, weeks after McCann Worldgroup appointed the somewhat tarnished, but nevertheless clever, former Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive to the newly created role of EMEA chief strategist (reporting directly to Gosper), McCann walks away with the Olympics prize.
Another non-coincidence is Gosper’s familiarity with the workings of Olympics committees. He happens to be the son of Richard Kevan Gosper. Ring a bell? Then I’ll refresh your memory. Gosper senior is a former Australian athlete of some renown, and more to the point, a former IOC vice-president of 20 years standing at the venerable body which holds supreme sway over the Olympic Games.
Just for the record, Kevan – as he prefers to be called – won an Olympics silver medal for the men’s 400m relay in 1956, and managed to take in being Shell chief executive and chairman Down Under during his long and successful career. So he’s not lacking influential political connections. He’s practically a national hero. What you might call Gosper junior’s inside track, in fact.
One other non-coincidence is Daley’s own brief and colourful connection with high octane sport. Remember his four-month stint at Manchester United? He’d probably rather you didn’t. But by the law of unintended consequences, it has served him well in the end.