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It’s about love, actually

As the British Olympic Team touches down on UK soil after their most successful Olympics for more than a century, Lydia Howard, consumer practice director, gets emotional about Rio.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been glued to the television every day over the last two weeks cheering on your nation in the Rio Olympics. A global show of some of the best sporting talent the world has to offer, the Olympics is obviously full of uber ambitious, competitive, hard-working athletes who are all there to get gold.

But aside from the sporting competition, what’s struck me is that the Olympics is about love, actually. Or perhaps more fittingly, partnerships.

Between athlete and coach, between teammates, between parents and sons and daughters, husbands and wives. None more so in the UK public eye than the incredible British power couple, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny – one of the most decorated couples in Olympic history.

With countless marriage proposals taking place on the podium, this got me thinking how important the relationships, and partnerships, you have in business are so vital to success too.

My colleagues were recently at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (you can read more about that here) and one of my key outtakes- apart from the immense creativity and simplicity of some of the ideas – was that many of the award winning campaigns were formed by long standing, solid client/agency partnerships.

It makes sense that the better you know a business and a brand, the braver you become and special things can happen. And I’m not just talking about long relationships. Sport is also a great example of how when, with the wrong coach, manager or player dynamic, things just don’t fall into place.

Case in point is the poster boy of British sport, Andy Murray. The recent return of his coach, Ivan Lendl, has coincided with him winning the US Open, Wimbledon singles title and Olympic Gold in just 12 months. Andy’s mum, Judy, is reported to have said that Andy didn’t need someone to teach him how to play the game, he needed someone to help him ‘prepare for bigger and better occasions’.

It seems it was a meeting of minds. Ultimately the basis of any successful relationship, in my book.