As part of our “Meet the Worldwide Olympic Partners” series, we speak to Christian Deuringer, Head of Brand & Partnerships at Allianz, about his personal Olympic memories and Allianz’s new Worldwide Olympic Partnership…
Allianz officially joined the Worldwide Olympic Partner (TOP) Programme on 1 January this year, becoming the Worldwide Insurance Partner of the Olympic Movement.
Through this agreement, Allianz will work with the IOC to provide innovative and integrated insurance solutions to support the Olympic Movement, while also using the power of sport to connect with new audiences via digital channels, including the Olympic Channel.
As the company begins its Worldwide Olympic Partnership, we spoke to Christian Deuringer, Head of Brand & Partnerships at Allianz, about his own Olympic experiences and what attracted Allianz to the Olympic Movement…
What are your earliest memories of the Olympic Games?
So, my memories with the Olympic Games are basically very close to my heart. When I was four years old, in my hometown of Munich, the Olympic Games came to play, and if I'm remembering those days – there's not that much that you can remember as a four-year-old – but it was about the mascot, Waldi, a super cute dog. It was about the S-Bahn, public transportation – and that's the other side of the Olympic Games; it brings infrastructure, it brings innovation, it brings a sort of power to a city. So, I would say Munich wouldn't be where it is today without the Olympic Games; and I'm still living in that city, so from the very early days until today, a very positive association.
What do you think makes the Olympic Games so unique from a marketing perspective?
To be honest, I think the Olympic Games was, is and will remain the number one sports marketing platform. I'm a true believer and a big fan of the real thing, and the Olympic Games have been around for so long and in all these crazy evolutions, if there's one thing to stay, I think it's going to be the Olympic Games.
Do you think sports partnerships are still relevant in today’s world?
I think sports partnerships will remain at the forefront of consumer engagement. I mean, you need to consider if your business model makes sense, so it doesn't fit for all brands in an equal way, but for insurance, if you think what insurance can contribute to people’s lives – and specifically in sport, accident insurance, health and fitness – I think there will be a very natural place for us. But also, if I sort of observe what's happening in the Olympic environment, but also with the other sports platforms, I think demand for the really top platforms is higher than supply.IOC
What attracted Allianz to a partnership with the Olympic Movement?
It was the year 2006 when we advised our CEO at the time to go and see the Paralympics in Torino, and he came back being the most excited man ever. So, ever since then we started that Paralympic partnership and we started to spread that Olympic and Paralympic gene in the organisation. So that's why when the opportunity arose to become the global insurance partner of both the IOC and the IPC, I wouldn't say it was a no-brainer, but we had the path prepared to really take that very bold decision and I think a very speedy timing.
How do you see your Olympic partnership developing in the years to come?
So long-term goals for Allianz, there are many, but I would sort of pick out two. One is to really become a partner that not only benefits from the power of the rings, but also gives back and contributes to the Movement. One specific area we are working on, and which is creating a lot of excitement in the organisation, is athletes’ insurance, or a broader sense of what can Allianz bring to athletes’ lives, from better living, healthier living, to better coverage for the risks, which are naturally there. So that's one thing we are super excited about. The other topic is digital. I truly believe that the Olympic Games as a destination have a fantastic opportunity to create all that pull and accumulate all those fans, and there we want to play a reasonable role. So not only being there with the brand, but being there in a meaningful way – supporting content programmes, but also facilitating fan behaviours.