Golden 25: #25 -- Olympic Media Chiefs

(ATR) They are behind-the-scenes shapers of the image of the Olympics and the IOC... 

(ATR) They are behind-the-scenes shapers of the image of the Olympics and the IOC.

At the IOC, the departure of Becky Edwards as director of strategic communications has been countered with the return of Christian Klaue from German NOC, the DOSB.

But Klaue doesn’t have the directorship held by Edwards, who returned to the U.S. after 18 months at the IOC. That means the IOC is still sorely in need of someone who can create and cultivate an effective long-term communications strategy.

Mark Adams, IOC spokesman for eight years, is a fearless voice for the IOC and President Thomas Bach. He’s an affable host for press conferences, generally unflappable. Adams is also a member of the Olympic Channel board of directors.

Masa Takaya is the spokesman for Tokyo 2020, one of the most experienced members of the organizing committee team. He worked on the unsuccessful 2016 bid, joined the staff of International Triathlon Union and then returned to the Tokyo 2020 bid. Takaya could be a significant player in post-2020 Olympic roles in Japan. He has a reputation as one of the hardest working execs in the Olympic world.

Anne Descamps joined the staff of Paris 2024 as press chief after a stint with French President Emmanuel Macron. With an active and engaged media in France, her handling of the press corps is one of the keys to keeping public enthusiasm behind an Olympics still six years away.

Beijing 2022 director of media and communications Chang Yu failed to impress in his international debut at a February press conference at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The next winter host has done little outreach outside China and risks a rocky road to 2022 unless it gears up its communications strategy. It doesn’t help that IOC remains unable to develop its own communications strategy that might provide some guidance to its partner in Beijing.

2018 Ranking: Not Ranked

The Around the Rings Golden 25 is the annual survey of individuals who will have the most influence for the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. First published in 1997, this is the 22nd edition.

Reported by Ed Hula.