A personal view of London 2012
Seven years ago, Zone's managing director Jon Davie was part of the bid team that won the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for London. After attending one of the Paralympic cycling events with fellow Zone team members (pictured above), he reflects on the digital experience delivered by the London 2012 team...
Walking around the Olympic Park this weekend, it was difficult not to feel a bit emotional about what the LOCOG team has delivered.
The physical transformation of the lower Lea Valley is truly breathtaking. The public transport system is modern, fast and efficient. And if the huge crowds of good-natured families queuing for the chance to see China take on Denmark at women's goalball are anything to go by, the marketing campaign has to go down as a massive success too.
Back in work on Monday morning, I began to ponder how much the digital environment has changed since we won the bid. When I left London 2012 to join Zone in 2005, we had built an award-winning website which delivered tens of thousands of page impressions each day. But we had no video content or Facebook page – and our cutting-edge mobile strategy invited users to send an SMS with their message of support. Facebook was still a closed system for college kids in the US, Twitter didn't exist until June 2006, and the first iPhone didn't reach the public until a year after that.
I thought that the digital experience delivered by the London 2012 team was exceptional. And the scale of the task they faced was really brought home by Head of New Media Alex Balfour, who shared a summary of the activity in the immediate aftermath of the Olympics - 4.73bn page views, 15m app downloads and 4.7m social followers, to pick just a few highlights.
In many ways, the digital landscape had changed just as dramatically as the physical landscape over in Stratford. But what really made me feel proud was something that didn't change at all – that the Games has delivered exactly what we hoped for back in 2005: great sport, full stadia, knowledgable fans and an event to inspire the next generation. Cheesy? Probably. But if there's one thing the last month has showed us, it's what we can achieve when we stop being so cynical and get on with it.