For every Olympic cycle tBt Management survey the landscape of sponsors and activating brands and assess which will align well with the Olympic talent that we manage. This may revolve around the values at the heart of their campaigns, or the kind of personalities they look to work with.
For Rio 2016 and Michael Johnson we were in touch with the advertising agency BBH London, who were managing the TV and online advertising for Virgin Media’s activation of their Usain Bolt partnership. With a campaign centred around the speed of their internet connection Virgin Media wanted to provide a tribute to the fasted man of all time as he prepared for his final Olympics in what was anticipated to be one of the fastest, most watched and shared sub-10secs in global history. What could be better than the voice of Michael Johnson to narrate the advert, a huge inspiration and mentor to Bolt as well as a voice that holds the attention of the nation on the BBC’s athletics coverage.
When Usain Bolt broke the world 100m record he did it in 9.58 seconds. BBH created an advert made up of ten separate 9.58 second sequences each with a unique perspective on what it takes and what it truly feels like to #bethefastest. All of the sequences were brought to life by a voiceover from Michael Johnson, bringing to life Usain’s gruelling training schedule, the impact his achievements have had on his country and fans, his “superhero” status, the Jamaican dancehall culture he is still a part of and the Jamaican locations he grew up with as a boy. Captured in a Soho studio the addition of Michael’s voiceover lent added gravitas and depth of meaning to the advert and produced a final product that has now been viewed over 2.6 million times on YouTube. Having negotiated, contracted and delivered the partnership, tBt Management then followed up by creating a partnership with a voiceover agent, allowing Michael’s distinctive and powerful voice to be offered out to other brands on a consistent basis.
"The results are fantastic and Michael's voice makes it even more special. We are very very happy with it and hope you are all pleased with the finished film and proud to be associated with it."