International Olympic Committee (IOC)
International Olympic Committee (IOC) highlights women's participation in sports with AP Assignments.
London 2012 was the first Olympic Games where all participating countries sent female participants. But the outcome was touch-and-go: the IOC had to work hard to ensure all nations made this historic step possible.
AP Assignments have been working with the IOC over many years, so it was no surprise that in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, the organization asked us for a proposal to highlight their behind-the-scenes efforts encouraging women into sports.
The goal was to provide a video news release (VNR) package that would show the scope of their work, driving media coverage while maintaining the IOC’s brand integrity.
Confidentiality: The story was highly sensitive due to the delicate ongoing discussions between the IOC and the National Olympic Committees concerned. AP Assignments had to undertake planning, filming, and post-production under a tight embargo, to make sure the story wasn’t leaked to the general media.
Global Coverage: The athletes whom we needed to highlight were located worldwide - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei.
Speed of reaction: Once the story broke, we had to react immediately to film the Saudi athlete Sarah Attar training in Los Angeles, then send the material to London for urgent editing and distribution.
Global distribution: This was a truly global story with interest from all Olympic-participating countries. It was vital to provide a distribution solution that would reflect the potential scale of its impact - crucial to ensure that the video and photo output would reach the widest possible audience.
How did AP Assignments help?
After consulting with the IOC, we formulated a production plan to film and interview four women athletes, two Qataris, one Bruneian, and one Saudi.
AP Assignments drew on its global resources to provide producers and camera crews in the relevant countries, initially filming and interviewing the Qatari and Bruneian athletes in training. But when the story became public that Saudi Arabia would send its first-ever woman Olympian to the London Games, AP Assignments was asked to bring forward the planned filming of the athlete concerned as quickly as possible, to ensure that VNR distribution would coincide with the breaking story.
That same day, AP Assignments organized filming at the athlete’s Los Angeles training camp. The material was fed by satellite back to London, where it was edited and integrated with the other elements of the video news release. On the very next day, we distributed the VNR around the world.
The final package was enhanced by inclusion of IOC archive material, allowing broadcasters to trace the history of women’s participation and achievements in successive Olympic Games.
The video news release was distributed three times on Associated Press video distribution platforms, and received outstanding coverage from broadcasters. Our Teletrax monitoring service reported that the material was aired over 350 times by 110 stations around the world, from Australia to the United States.
Still frames from the video were even published by many newspapers, benefiting from our exclusive access to Sarah Attar.