The 16th Asian Games closed with a bang in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in November after 15 days of thrills and spills. More than 10,000 athletes from 45 Asian nations competed hard in an unprecedented 42 different sports. As the Games reached their conclusion, China proudly topped the medal table. Once the euphoria had settled, the event was widely praised as one of the most successful in Asian Games history and it was agreed that the host city shone in front of international audiences.
Ketchum, was appointed in 2009 by the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (GAGOC) as the official PR consultancy for the 2010 Asian Games, to provide comprehensive PR services spanning international media strategy, media monitoring and international public opinion, issues and crisis management and media skills training. In parallel, Ketchum also collaborated with sponsors and associated organizations to plan and manage their themed events during the countdown to the Games (see sidebar).
Ketchum won recognition and high praise from GAGOC for the professionalism of its communications counseling. Ketchum’s support for the Asian Games adds to its past successes going for gold working with organizers and sponsors of successive Olympic Games since 1996, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Unique designs for uniforms and medals
In addition to providing PR support for the Asian Games organizing committee, Ketchum also worked with sponsors and associated bodies in the countdown to the Games to build excitement and brand awareness.
Ketchum supported Guangdong DKD Group – the official outfitters of Games staff and referees – arrange a catwalk event to show off their collection just ahead of the Games’ opening ceremony. The event, which featured badminton world champion Xie Xingfang, drew the attention of more than 60 Chinese media including CCTV and Phoenix TV. In another event, DKD also commissioned Ketchum to unveil their unique Glory in Asia gold medal design for the 2010 Games which uniquely featured a diamond set in the medal’s center.
Cheering squad for Jockey Club torch bearers
As with the Olympics, the torch relay is the essential element of the Asian Games that thrills myriads of people. Ketchum helped arrange a 100-strong cheering squad dressed in jockey’s silks to support the Hong Kong Jockey Club torch bearers over their section of the relay. The Club has a long-standing commitment to promoting world-class racing and equestrian sport and was designated an Outstanding Contributor of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games Equestrian Events in recognition of its role in designing and building the equestrian venue at Conghua and providing professional support for the events.