Canada looks to winter for Summer Olympics mojo

Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:11pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian Olympic Committee is hoping to tap into some of the country's Winter Games mojo by building a Rio de Janeiro Olympic brand campaign it hopes will leave people cold.

With the Rio Summer Games 100 days away, the COC launched an "Ice In Our Veins" campaign on Wednesday it hopes will put the spotlight on athletes and take the focus away from a sexual harassment scandal involving former president Marcel Aubut.

The Aubut scandal has left a dark cloud hanging over the COC and prompted former Olympic moguls champion Jean-Luc Brassard to step down as Canada's chef de mission two weeks ago.

COC Chief Marketing Officer Derek Kent acknowledged that the Aubut scandal had damaged the COC brand but believed the edgy campaign designed to build on the wintery bonds that connect and characterize the country will put the spotlight back where it belongs - on the athletes.

"Like any organization we have had some tough moments the last six months. We've addressed it," Kent told Reuters.

"We have accepted all the recommendations and we're with the athletes. The focus should be on the athletes and the Road to Rio and that is what we are doing.

"It's time to start telling the athletes' stories and that's what this campaign does."

The Great White North has long celebrated a rugged, wintery persona. The COC used a "We Are Winter" slogan for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Toronto's NBA team embraced the image by rebranding the franchise behind the slogan "We the North."   Continued...