Golden 25 - #23 Ad Man Martin Sorrell

(ATR) The head of the world’s biggest communications company has the ear of the IOC.

(ATR) The head of the world’s biggest communications company has the ear of the IOC.

Martin Sorrell is number 23 in the Around the Rings Golden 25 for 2016. Now in its 20th year, the survey ranks 25 individuals or events expected to have a major influence on the Olympics in the year ahead.

Sorrell, 70, has been chief executive officer of London-based WPP since 1986. Under his leadership the company has grown by acquisition into a massive collection of firms in advertising, public relations and other communication services. Through the years of building this network of companies, Sorrell has acquired the reputation as a savant for the communications industry.

Sorrell spent two hours in a keynote speech to the IOC session last August in Kuala Lumpur about the need of the IOC to embrace new communications venues, such as the Olympic Channel and the Youth Olympic Games.

"You need to evolve to new consumption behaviors in both younger demographics and in fast-growth markets, more online and more mobile," he told the IOC about the need to reach young people.

It was not the first time Sorrell has delivered that message to the IOC. In 2009 at the Olympic Congress held in Copenhagen, he sounded the warning that the times are changing in a talk titled "The Digital Revolution".

He is a big fan of the Olympics, backing the London bid for 2012, traveling to Singapore for the final phase of the campaign in 2005. Some of the WPP companies have Olympic connections, such as PR giant Hill and Knowlton which has done substantial work for the IOC.

2015 ranking: unranked

Written by Ed Hula.

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