IOC launches Olympic brand campaign “Become The Light” to help refugee’s

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched a new integrated brand campaign, “Become The Light”, that aims to promote the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

The campaign uses “light” as the symbolic representation of the Olympic values. Through a series of public service announcements, the campaign demonstrates how the inspirational achievements of athletes and the Olympic spirit can motivate people around the world to “Become The Light” and act as beacons of positivity.

Supporting the IOC’s vision of building a better world through sport, the campaign invites participants to make a “donation” of their physical activity, recorded through the Olympic Channel. In keeping with the campaign theme of “light”, the IOC will convert recorded activity into tangible support for refugees, by providing sustainable, solar powered lighting solutions for the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda in cooperation with UNHCR.

“Sport is about building bridges, bringing people together in the spirit of friendship and respect.” said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. “In a world of uncertainties, the message that our shared humanity is greater than the forces that divide us is more relevant than ever before. Athletes carry the light and inspire us, giving us all hope that a better world is possible. We are pleased to be able to continue our close cooperation with UNHCR and our support for refugees as part of this campaign.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said: “Sport can be a lifeline for young refugees uprooted by conflict and violence, forced to abandon their homes, communities and even their families. Sport restores childhood. It helps to heal and restore a sense of normalcy, offering a safe space where children can grow, learn and develop. By providing sustainable, solar powered lighting in refugee camps, we can boost sport and education opportunities for young refugees.”

The “Become the Light” campaign begins as the world counts down to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the Olympic Torch Relay progresses around the host country, the Republic of Korea, with its message of hope and inspiration. The campaign launch follows the adoption of the Olympic Truce Resolution by all UN Member States on 13 November at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Olympic Truce Resolution provides a commitment to support the safe passage of athletes and all participants to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and promote diplomatic solutions to conflicts around the world, in line with the ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Truce, “Ekecheiria”.

“As an Olympian, I truly believe athletes have a crucial role to play to inspire the next generation, especially those who share a passion for sport, as sport can unite the world, breaking down barriers and having a positive impact on society,” said Angela Ruggiero, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

The “Become the Light” campaign assets:

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

The campaign includes a series of inspirational films that feature athletes emanating light while competing in winter sports. The “light” represents the Olympic values and the shining examples of the athletes who inspire the world. There are four different films: A 90″ anthem film, as well as three 30″ films, inspired by the three Olympic values: excellence, friendship and respect. The “Become The Light” PSA films end with a call to action inviting everyone to engage through the Olympic Channel campaign hub. The films will be broadcast around the world in collaboration with the official Olympic broadcasters, as well as on the Olympic Channel’s dedicated platform for the duration of the campaign.

Support for Refugees

Building on the IOC’s long-standing commitment to refugees around the world and the insight that  many refugees in camps have no access to electric lighting, the IOC is working closely with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to bring sustainable, solar powered light solutions to refugee camps. Through the Olympic Channel campaign hub participants are encouraged to get active and “donate” their physical activity towards a total amount of energy or “sparks”. Once a goal is achieved, the IOC will make a donation to UNHCR to light up streets, households and sports areas at the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, assisting over 55,000 refugees.

Olympic Channel campaign hub

The Olympic Channel global digital platform serves as the main digital platform for the campaign. The public can sign up through Olympic+ directly on the campaign homepage, connect their fitness trackers and record their physical contribution as “sparks”. Participants can also compare their activity to the overall Olympic+ Community, their friends and Olympians.

The “Become the Light” creative idea and digital activation were developed by Publicis London and digital specialists POKE. The PSA films were directed by the award-winning Jaron Albertin and produced by Smuggler Films while the thirty second digital trailer and seven minute documentary were directed by Max Cutting and produced by Ceen Studio.

The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.


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