Richie Woodworth has been to the Olympics before as a spectator, but this year he will be there in an official capacity as the president of athletic wear company Saucony.
Saucony, known for its running shoes, has expanded its Olympic presence for next week’s London Games, sponsoring more than 20 athletes from 13 countries. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Lexington company sponsored just one athlete and did not send any company officials to the Olympics. This time Woodworth will bring 15 other Saucony employees to provide support to their athletes.
“There are not a lot of better ways to gain credibility, authenticity, and relevance around running than having the most elite athletes in the world wearing your stuff,” Woodworth said.
Companies across the region are gearing up for the Olympics, a quadrennial event that brings together the world’s greatest athletes for about two weeks of competition. The global nature of the Olympics — an estimated 4 billion people watch the Games — provides extraordinary exposure for brands.
To create more buzz about its Olympic role, Boston-based running wear company New Balance launched a marketing campaign in January called “The British Miler,” a 12-part documentary of the same name that ran on British network Sky TV.
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