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2012 Olympic winner

By The Drum | Administrator

July 28, 2005 | 5 min read

Presenting your case to host what’s been described as the largest logistical exercise to be undertaken in peacetime is likely to prove simultaneously thrilling, exhausting, altogether fascinating and not a little bit scary. Hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games is an internationally coveted privilege but even the mere contemplation of throwing your hat in the ring is not something undertaken lightly or without demonstrable resources.

When London decided to go for the Games in 2012, the process began to pull together a team with the know-how, commitment, experience and wherewithal to deliver a winning bid. Following a five-way pitch to the London 2012 bid team, Navyblue Design Group secured the chance to become part of that team, responsible for the design and production of the document outlining London’s proposals for one of the most exciting event prospects of our times.

Confident and with illustrative experience and a proven track record in sports bidding, which includes the joint Scotland/Ireland bid to host the Euro 2008 football championships, Doug Alexander and Geoff Nicol, joint managing directors, offered personal letters of guarantee to the London 2012 team. They undertook that Navyblue could, and would, drive the creation and timely delivery of the prestigious Candidature File to the strict IOC guidelines and constraints. As Geoff said, “With so much riding on it, there was no scope to falter on this one. As a company, Navyblue was committed to this project and knew that we were more than equipped to take on the challenge.”

What is the Candidature File? It’s very literally the embodiment of all the technical information requested by the International Olympic Committee. Evolving from a vast amount of raw data, the file is a bilingual technical document that emerged around 600 pages long bound in three volumes, covering 17 themes using over 90,000 words printed in both English and French with a print run of 1000. It’s delivered to each member of the IOC and allows the Committee to undertake a comparative technical analysis of each of the competing bids. Over and above the file itself, Navyblue also worked on the wealth of supporting material created, including an IOC brochure, IOC mailers, guidelines, International Federation folders, generic stationery and media folders.

Creating the file began in April 2004 but, almost as soon as work was underway, on 18 May the IOC guidelines were revised and the project pretty much began anew. Throughout the summer, challenges and hurdles such as Parliamentary recess; the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games; guideline revision; regular content review and changing bid themes had to be overcome. But the creative challenge for Navyblue lay in imbibing the London personality and approach to the 2012 Games to deliver visually impressive, unique bid proposals whilst adhering to the stringent parameters stipulated by the IOC. Already presented with an identity, which emerged from a national competition early in the bid process, Navyblue also worked to create a strong brand framework across the Candidature File, supporting documentation, promotional literature and stationery.

Superior project management blended a diversity of specialist disciplines that included architects; copywriters; translators; typesetters; illustrators and photographers, and proved essential to deliver the Candidature File on time and present proposals for a winning bid without concession. “ A huge amount of credit must be paid to the project managers on both sides and also to our creative partners especially Lang Communications,” said Geoff, “Their commitment and drive throughout the punishing schedule ensured rigorous deadlines were met without compromise. The sheer scope of disciplines involved meant that consistency, accuracy and attention to detail were paramount, not to mention an extended bid team with the heartfelt passion, honesty and commitment to work together in truly collaborative effort.”

As work progressed and deadlines loomed, six translators literally worked around the clock, seven days a week and three printing presses worked 24 hours a day for five days per week whilst the document was exhaustively proof read, cross referenced and checked for consistency before final delivery one week ahead of schedule on 8 November 2004. David Magliano, Marketing Director, London 2012, said, “Navyblue has rich experience in mission critical work. They understand how to design with creativity and clarity, and stick to the tough parameters laid down by the IOC and they are to be congratulated for delivering this vital and historic work ahead of schedule.”

As the IOC decision was announced, a delighted Geoff Nicol said, “The powerful working relationship between the dedicated bid team at Navyblue and the London 2012 team was key to focussing minds and maintaining momentum and clarity of the decision-making process from beginning to end. The unremitting and unqualified commitment and support of colleagues, family and friends of everyone involved on the 2012 project at Navyblue was fundamental throughout long working hours and consecutive weekend working and all can be justly proud of the winning bid and look forward to a signature Olympic Games in London in 2012.”

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