Martin Pietersen (Atos): “We make the Olympic Games smarter, more accessible and safer for the future”

Martin Pietersen is global brand and content director at Atos, one of the TOP-partners of the IOC. 19th November he is speaker at the Olympic Webinar of Sponsorreport. How has the role as Worldwide IT partner changed in the last ten years? And what is his biggest challenge regarding Tokyo 2020?

What is your role at Atos in context of the IOC partnership?
Martin Pietersen: “In my role as global brand and content director I am responsible for developing a global brand concept which in turn forms the basis of our Olympic and Paralympic sales, marketing and communication program for Tokyo 2020. The core of this role is to leverage Atos’s top partner marketing rights as Worldwide IT Partner for the IOC and IPC ensuring we activate them the best way possible delivering against our marketing, communications and business objectives set for this program globally.”

Why did Atos in 2001 become an IOC Top Partner?
“Atos became one of the IOC’s TOP partners though its acquisition of Schlumberger Sema in 2003. The acquired company had been an Olympic sponsor since 2001. Since then we have been the Worldwide IT partner of the IOC under the name Atos Origin and since July 2011 as Atos.”

How has the role as Worldwide IT partner at the Olympic Games changed in the last 10 years?
“The Olympic Games takes place every 2 years, and the IOC has great ambitions every Games in terms of delivering a superior event experience to all their stakeholders: the athletes, the fans and media. This also means the IOC relies on new and emerging technologies to stay in touch with the needs and expectations of its stakeholders. The most import recent evolutions over the past 10 years have been the move to the cloud as well as the adoption and pervasiveness of mobile. We see a clear move towards IoT, robotics, machine learning, 5G and other technologies. We are already now looking how we can make the Olympic Games smarter, more accessible and safer for the future as it will change the experience for everyone.”

Elie Girard, CEO Atos (l) en Thomas Bach, President van het IOC (r)

We cannot afford any mistakes in front of 4 billion ‘customers’ worldwide

Martin Pietersen, Atos

How do you contribute to the fan experience of the games with your partnership?
“Through IOC technology partners and new media technologies Atos brings a rich digital fan experience enjoying the Olympic Games at your fingertips with the help of our Games Information Systems. It’s our job to diffuse the results and Games information as they happen to the waiting media, commentators, broadcasters and global feeds. We can hardly imagine the Olympic Games without fans – or let alone, without media coverage. Since the Games in Rio 2016 we can state that even though TV coverage remains the go-to medium for billions around the world; digital coverage is already outnumbering that by 2:1.”

In some uncertain times, you extended the partnership in July to 2024. What role did the corona pandemic play in the extension?
“Atos values its long-term partnership with the IOC and the circumstances of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic did not influence our decision to extend our partnership until 2024.”

What will be your biggest challenge with regards to Tokyo 2020?
“Turning a physical event securely into the most connected and digital enabled Olympic Games brings in a variety of challenges. We see how disruptive technologies – Big Data, Cloud and Cyber Security – address emerging challenges potentially impacting the experience of the Olympic Games. If I need to choose, I would say cyber security as we cannot afford any mistakes in front of 4 billion ‘customers’ worldwide.”

What will be your main take-away from the presentation?
“Alone you go quicker, together you come further. If you want to be ready for the unknown (e.g. COVID-19) you need to plan, adapt, test and collaborate with your partners closely together working towards a common goal.”

Martin Pietersen is een van de sprekers op het Olympisch Webinar van Sponsorreport op 19 november. Andere sprekers zijn Michiel Aulbers (ATPI Group), Thierry Borra (Sports Matter Consulting) en Julie Garcia Sjögrim (Canadese Olympische Comité). Inschrijven kan hier. Het webinar is gratis voor Sponsorreport-abonnees.