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More online, more on mobile: advertising executive to IOC

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A leading ad executive told the International Olympic Committee on Sunday that the Olympic body needs to concentrate more of its content on the Internet and mobile devices to stay relevant with the younger generation. Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the advertising agency WPP, said the IOC is in a unique position because its biggest asset is its live content. ‘‘Live sports coverage is the last bastion of high-value traditional programming,’’ he said, adding that most consumers want to watch video when and where they choose. ‘‘But they can’t do that with live sports. Its power is its immediacy.’’ Sorrell said the IOC needs to increase its on-demand content and social media. ‘‘It’s critical to find your voice more than just 17 days every two years,’’ he said, referring to the rotation of Summer and Winter Games. Last year, the IOC backed the launch of a digital channel to promote Olympic sports between the games. It will feature material from the IOC’s archives, transmit some international sports competitions, and offer a promotional platform for bid cities. But, Sorrell said, “the IOC needs to create a range of content that is more than archive and TV footage. You have the ultimate story platforms — tell stories about the athletes, their families, friends, and dreams.’’ Sorrell said he expects the next big communication tool to be virtual reality. ‘‘It allows people from remote locations . . . to experience a 360-degree video and sound of a distant event.’’ He said the technology could become real time in the future. ‘‘You could put on a pair of goggles as though you were an athlete in the stadium,’’ he said. Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive of Olympic Broadcasting Services, said virtual reality could be in the Olympic Channel’s plans for next year’s games in Rio de Janeiro. — ASSOCIATED PRESS