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A gallimaufry of London 2012 bits


Rob.
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Loads of interesting bits in this short and confusing article!! I wasn't really sure where to post it, so thought I'd start a new thread:


Symbolic rings around capital to signal Games are on the way

Away from the Stratford building site, there is scant visible evidence around London that in less than 18 months the Olympics will be here.

The few exceptions are the BT Tower's electronic countdown display, a London Transport ticketing poster campaign and the occasional flash of an Olympic logo on a taxi.

But next month the volume will be pumped up with the first of a series of spectaculars.

Giant Olympic rings will be suspended from Tower Bridge and will also eventually adorn the London Eye and St Pancras station, terminus for the Olympic Park "Javelin" shuttle service. London's tallest building, the Shard of Glass, will also be crowned with the rings and there are plans for one of its 72 storeys to light up each time the home nation wins a medal.

On March 15, to mark 500 days to the Games and the start of ticket sales, a giant countdown clock will be installed in Trafalgar Square, courtesy of Olympic timekeeper Omega. And on New Year's Eve a Games-themed firework display will herald the start of Olympic year.

Next spring will see the "dressing" of the capital's main roads, airports and railway stations. Early drafts of the colour scheme were rejected by Mayor Boris Johnson who demanded patriotic red, white and blue instead of what he called "vomit and vermillion".

Public services are being squeezed, but next summer will offer a window on the world like no other. There will be £30million in the Olympic budget to give streets a facelift, while the Mayor has offered each borough £50,000 spruce-up grants.

He also wants Seb Coe's Games organising committee to buck tradition and locate the Olympic cauldron not on the roof of the main stadium but atop the neighbouring Orbit Tower, Anish Kapoor's 115-metre structure.

Meanwhile, consumer champion Which? has attacked as "outrageous and discriminatory" the monopoly deal which dictates that Olympic tickets can only be bought using the official payment card, Visa.

The Office of Fair Trading and the European Commission are looking at the arrangement.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-olympics/article-23924578-symbolic-rings-around-capital-to-signal-games-are-on-the-way.do


So, exciting news about landmarks being decorated with giant Olympic rings, Boris has made a decision which will mean the branding will be inconsistent in the street decorations by the sound of it, the news about the Orbit seems to have been proved wrong by the announcement of Heatherwick as the cauldron architect today, and a good thing that VISA's monopoly is being looked into....

Discuss! :lol:

Edited by RobH
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How is it a good thing? VISA pays good money to be the only payment method accepted and because the UK and the European Union operate on a fiat currency basis it is between the consumer and the provider to agree on a payment method. Therefore any provided has the right to accept or refuse payment based solely on what they want and in this case the IOC wants VISA. Its not a monoploy but a function of the financial system we use.

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OK, I'm sure you're technically right and I stand corrected, but there is something about an event funded in large part by taxpayers only accepting one payment provider which doesn't sit right with me.

"We're happy for you to pay for the stadium, but please sign up to become a VISA customer to get a ticket, there's a good man."

I think it's a barrier and actually, I don't think it does VISA any credit (NO pun intended). I didn't like this idea when I first heard about it, and I still don't; and I do have a VISA card before you ask.

Anyway, just one of those things. Perhaps I'm in a minority in not liking this system, I don't know? The fact that The Office of Fair Trading and the European Commission are looking into it is interesting though, whatever your opinion.

And here was me thinking the news about the giant rings on Tower Bridge and the Eye would be the talking points in this thread! :lol:

Edited by RobH
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From the IOC it is a good policy because VISA is the most universal credit card. It is not the most ideal system universally but it is the most ideal system for the Olympics. It is a huge event and cash/check/money order payments would be a nightmare to deal with and could potentially tie-up thousands of tickets in accounts that are not paid.

But, I also come from Canada. We have 5 major banks and out of those 4 have VISA as their credit brand. We are one of the most VISA dominated countries around. So it wasn't a huge issue with Vancouver. I don't know what the situation is in the UK.

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Great news on the rings.

The bit of Boris demanding red white and blue to dress the streets of London, where I presume venues will use the proper colour palette makes me shudder and rather mad. Does he want the games look to be confussed and not cohesive. Well done Boris, London sees itself as a design centre of the world, consider that image dead when the streets of London look like a dogs dinner. When can London get rid of him, I hope they make the right desision this time. Bye bye Boris

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There are some exciting plans there , the Olympic rings on Tower bridge

And I will be verry interested to see how they dress up the lower lea valley,

Trinity buoy whalf ect.

72 storeys to light up each time the home nation wins a medal.

Not sure bout this ,sound to much like a film with Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.

that biulding look OK but it gives me the kreeps.

creeps

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How is it a good thing? VISA pays good money to be the only payment method accepted and because the UK and the European Union operate on a fiat currency basis it is between the consumer and the provider to agree on a payment method. Therefore any provided has the right to accept or refuse payment based solely on what they want and in this case the IOC wants VISA. Its not a monoploy but a function of the financial system we use.

Agreed. Visa has an agreement with the IOC; the IOC has delegated London to stage its Games but observing some of the previous contracts that the IOC has with its sponsors. People are NOT OBLIGATED to buy Olympic tickets. They can watch the Games at home even on a Sony or Phillips TV set, and nobody will say anything. How difficult is it to respect another party's contractual obligations?

He also wants Seb Coe's Games organising committee to buck tradition and locate the Olympic cauldron not on the roof of the main stadium but atop the neighbouring Orbit Tower, Anish Kapoor's 115-metre structure.

It really doesn't make sense to build ANOTHER tower just to house the flame when there is already a similar overpowering structure right there. Maybe LOCOG should've stepped in before Boris firmed up his agreements/plans w/ Kapoor or whomever?

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OK, sure is a lot in that short piece...so here goes...

- Love that they are talking of putting rings on all those icons! It will really help build excitement in the city.

- About time they put a clock up! That was a major attraction/landmark in Vancouver. Every day for 3 years, I would walk by it on my way into the office and there was almost always some visitor snapping a photo of themselves beside it.

- The mayor has that much control? The look should fit the Olympic Brand. Another lesson from Vancouver...VANOC avoided red for the most part because they knew that locals would be wearing it in support of Canada and its athletes. Thus, the brand would not stand out.

- How many boroughs are there in London? 50,000 quid doesn't seem like a lot.

- Oh lord no! The only flame that should be located near that tower is a welding flame to melt it down. Ugly! And back to Vancouver again, having the cauldron lighting split in two segments was a bit awkward. No Olympic Flame on the Awful Tower!

- The Visa thing. Well, come on! They are giving the Olympic Movement millions upon millions of dollars/pounds and they should be allowed to stipulate that as a condition of their sponsorship. Otherwise, what's the benefit to them? These are not the first Olympics that Visa have sponsored, but if London's Lord Mayor mucks it up, it might be their last. If you go to an Olympic event, you'll only be able to buy a Coke product, watch the replays and scores on a Panasonic jumbo screen, and catch the athletes timing on an Omega clock.

Edited by Kenadian
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I disagree totally with Visa being the only method of payment acceptable for purchasing tickets. I am really annoyed by it. We aren't talking about shops only selling drinks belonging to one brand. This kind of monopoly could really obstruct the enjoyment of the games for some people. I had intended to put all my purchases onto my Mastercard. I tried to switch it with my bank to Visa and they don't offer it. I therefore have to apply for a whole new credit card. I am more than annoyed and might not even bother. I am sure I am not the only one in this position.

I really think that Boris is an absolute tit. He does realise this is the 2012 summer Olympics and not the 1953 coronation. Idiot!

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I disagree totally with Visa being the only method of payment acceptable for purchasing tickets. I am really annoyed by it. We aren't talking about shops only selling drinks belonging to one brand. This kind of monopoly could really obstruct the enjoyment of the games for some people. I had intended to put all my purchases onto my Mastercard. I tried to switch it with my bank to Visa and they don't offer it. I therefore have to apply for a whole new credit card. I am more than annoyed and might not even bother. I am sure I am not the only one in this position.

Yes, but think of all the Olympic sweepstakes you could enter on VISA which Master, Amex, Discover, Eurocard? WON'T OFFER!!

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Totally get why people would be upset with VISA, but that is one of the fundamental conditions of being an IOC global sponsor. It is nothing really new.

If this creates an issue, I am sure VISA will reassess their relationship with the IOC. At the end of the day, it is the IOC who should take the heat, because it is their agreements that they create to try and sweeten the pot for their big sponsors.

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Totally get why people would be upset with VISA, but that is one of the fundamental conditions of being an IOC global sponsor.

I don't quite think it's a "condition laid down by the IOC." THe IOC offers exclusivity to its TOP sponsor. THat sounds like a good deal, and the sponsor pays TOP $$ for that privilege. It is a pure marketing strategy. People can always pay cash if they don't have a VISA card.

There didn't seem to be this problem in China; of course, it would be in a democracy where such probs crop up. The UK banks should just loosen up then on their VISA applications.

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An easy solution might be to buy a pre-paid Visa gift card.

Visa has been the only card accepted at the Olympics since 1986 (see their media kit). I even remember their ad campaign for the 1988 Winter Games. And that will continue until 2020. So I suggest to our friends in Russia and Brazil to get a Visa card. And those in France, South Korea and Germany might consider it in a few months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Egh3viw48

Edited by Kenadian
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And I looked into their London 2012 media kit...

Prepaid cards: For visitors, who don't already have a Visa card, prepaid cards

will be available allowing visitors to obtain a Visa card which they'll be able to

use everywhere they see the Visa sign.

So look for a pre-paid Visa.

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An easy solution might be to buy a pre-paid Visa gift card.

Visa has been the only card accepted at the Olympics since 1986 (see their media kit). I even remember their ad campaign for the 1988 Winter Games. And that will continue until 2020. So I suggest to our friends in Russia and Brazil to get a Visa card. And those in France, South Korea and Germany might consider it in a few months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Egh3viw48

Edited by Faster
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I dunno the details, but LOCOG's site says this...

In recognition of Visa's support of the Games, the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are proud to accept only Visa cards (debit, credit and prepaid), along with cash and cheques. For more information on how to obtain a Visa card, contact a Visa card issuer or visit the Visa website.

Still think it is something to look into for anyone wanting to see some London events, but not willing to sign up for a Visa credit card.

Edited by Kenadian
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- The mayor has that much control? The look should fit the Olympic Brand. Another lesson from Vancouver...VANOC avoided red for the most part because they knew that locals would be wearing it in support of Canada and its athletes. Thus, the brand would not stand out.

...

- Oh lord no! The only flame that should be located near that tower is a welding flame to melt it down. Ugly! And back to Vancouver again, having the cauldron lighting split in two segments was a bit awkward. No Olympic Flame on the Awful Tower!

....

- How many boroughs are there in London? 50,000 quid doesn't seem like a lot.

...

- The Visa thing. Well, come on! They are giving the Olympic Movement millions upon millions of dollars/pounds and they should be allowed to stipulate that as a condition of their sponsorship. Otherwise, what's the benefit to them?

Your first point is fantastic; and not one I'd thought of. There'll be plenty of red, white and blue anyway, and it would stand out more against London's more nationally neutral CMY palette than it would against more of the stuff. I'm sure the venues will be dressed up in the London 2012 colours though, and that's what most people watching on tele will be seeing most of. At least Boris' decision means the streets will be looking good for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee though; perhaps he had that in mind as well (not that I want to give him too much of the benifit of the doubt).

Your second point - and I've noticed you've posted in the cauldron thread so you've probably realised this anyway - is no longer relevent. It's confirmed we've a different architect for the cauldron. Boris isn't getting his own way about everything. I'm still hopeful - despite my nervousness - the Orbit will look ok, and prove to be a great draw as an observation tower during the Games. I'm certainly relieved it won't be the cauldron tower because I think it insists upon itself too much to work as that, and would detract from the flame. In that sense, I'm hoping for a light and slender tower just to the north of the stadium which draws attention to the flame, and not to itself. I think Heatherwick can acheive that.

There are 32 boroughs in London plus the City. 50k isn't a lot for each but it says in the same article there's 30m in the Olympic budget, so the 50k from the Mayor's budget is top-ups I guess. You won't see much of the outer boroughs anyway.

LondonBoroughs.gif

Your last point is of course correct. My annoyance is perhaps better aimed at the IOC rather than VISA. Prepay cards are fine as a solution to some extent but it still annoys me nonetheless (and as I said, I do have a VISA card). Even someone as supportive of these games as Lee is being put off because he can't use a different card to order tickets; that must say something! And for the ATMs in the Park to only accept VISA is ridiculous. I think a lot of people wanting to get some cash for a night out might well be in for a shock when they realise they have to leave the Park's boundary to use their normal mastercard or whatever. I'm all for exlusive drinks, clothing suppliers etc but I think having an exclusive payment provider is one sponsorship too far. Just my opinion.

Edited by RobH
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LondonBoroughs.gif

Oh, so that's where Bexley is. I stayed there with my cousin the last time I was in the UK in 1988. Unfortunately, in the mid90s, they moved to the U.S.

Re VISA's long-time deal with the IOC; yes Ueberroth had the same deal with the LA-1984 sponsors but it was American Express they had hooked in for that. Right after the success of 1984, VISA and Kodak, left out of the success of LA, (and of course Coke) immediately jumped on board and grabbed the exclusive deals in their TOP respective category. Kodak of course did not renew its TOP contract a few years back.

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London, the UK government and the British public (particularly the passionate fans who went to Athens in 2004) knew or should have known about this at the moment of bidding. So crying foul now is a little easy.

Besides, as already pointed out, the option of using pre-paid cards do not oblige anyone to switch to a Visa Credit Card.

Unless of course LOCOG and BOA are keen to return the share of Visa money they got through the TOP Programme... <_<

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London, the UK government and the British public (particularly the passionate fans who went to Athens in 2004) knew or should have known about this at the moment of bidding. So crying foul now is a little easy.

Besides, as already pointed out, the option of using pre-paid cards do not oblige anyone to switch to a Visa Credit Card.

Unless of course LOCOG and BOA are keen to return the share of Visa money they got through the TOP Programme... <_<

It's not the government crying foul, nor is it LOCOG.

It's a consumer watchdog (Which?), a non-ministerial department charged with ensuring competitiveness in the markets (the OFT), and the European Commission who putting the pressure on. And they're doing their jobs, not "crying foul".

Not every public body or individual is going to agree with everything the IOC sets out just because we've been given the privilege of hosting; we're not China.

Edited by RobH
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London, the UK government and the British public (particularly the passionate fans who went to Athens in 2004) knew or should have known about this at the moment of bidding. So crying foul now is a little easy.

Besides, as already pointed out, the option of using pre-paid cards do not oblige anyone to switch to a Visa Credit Card.

Unless of course LOCOG and BOA are keen to return the share of Visa money they got through the TOP Programme... <_<

If you pre-pay pay card isn’t visa you wont be able to use it.

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This happened in Vancouver, too. At the venues and at the official Olympic souvenir shop at the Bay. If you wanted red mittens and a Muk Muk, you had to have cash or a Visa product. You couldn't even use debit cards (unless they were Visa) and even the Bay's own credit cards were not accepted.

So yeah, it is a bit annoying, but that's their business plan. Visa, like all Olympic sponsors, pay big bucks for those contracts. Money that the IOC and OCOGs need to function.

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It's a consumer watchdog (Which?), a non-ministerial department charged with ensuring competitiveness in the markets (the OFT), and the European Commission who putting the pressure on. And they're doing their jobs, not "crying foul".

Not every public body or individual is going to agree with everything the IOC sets out just because we've been given the privilege of hosting; we're not China.

It's not a question of agreeing or not with what the IOC sets out, it's a question of abiding by a contract or not. One does not sign a contract if one doesn't agree with its content.

I fail to see how the Visa exclusive rights is different from any other partners rights. Again, the public has the options of using cash or buying a Visa pre-paid card to purchase Tickets or anything in the venues so it is not like anyone will be denied the possibility of doing so.

But anyhow, it will be interesting to see what happens if the European Commission does rule that the Visa deal hurts competitiveness. That would mean potentially a European Institution stepping over British ones (namely the City of London and BOA who have signed the Host City Contract).

And yeah you are not China but you are either neither the US, Canada, Australia, Greece, Italy, all countries who have survived the Visa exclusive rights without turning into dictatorship.

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It's not a question of agreeing or not with what the IOC sets out, it's a question of abiding by a contract or not. One does not sign a contract if one doesn't agree with its content.

And none of these groups HAVE signed a contract or ever will sign a contract with the IOC. Again, might I point out it's not the government or LOCOG making the noises against this but consumer groups and indeed the European Commission. Just because a government has signed a contract it dooesn't mean everyone has to like it or keep schtum if they don't. The contract will be abided by I'm quite sure, but that's not what I'm debating. I'm simply saying I don't like the concept, even if it does bring in the OCOG a fair amount of money.

And yes, it would be a European Institution stepping over British ones if they ruled against the IOC, but it certainly won't be the first time that's happened and nor would it be the last. The votes for prisoners controversy this week is another, for example. Whatever the case, I suppose the IOC are keeping a very close eye on it all.

And yeah you are not China but you are either neither the US, Canada, Australia, Greece, Italy, all countries who have survived the Visa exclusive rights without turning into dictatorship.

I think you got the wrong end of the stick. I'm not saying abiding by the deal would make us more like a dictatorship. :lol: I'm saying expecting no dissenting voices from public bodies is not realistic if they see something they don't like. i.e. we're not China.

Edited by RobH
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