The inaugural European Games took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 12 to 28 June 2015 and Pearce International planned, managed and led the Press Operation over a two year period. Jayne headed up the project as Press Operations Director and member of the senior management team. Andrew took responsibility for the photo operation of a number of venues – Athletes’ Village, mountain bike, shooting, swimming and was part of the Ceremonies photo team.
More than 6,000 athletes competed in 20 sports across 18 competition venues with athletes representing each of the 50 European nations. More than 1,200 press and 1,000 broadcasters attended the Games and services were provided in 14 Venue Media Centres and the Media Village.
The event was exciting in many ways, not least because the remit was to be innovative in delivering this brand new event. Pearce International took this seriously and fully implemented the I-Zone – the flagship innovation – radically eradicating post event media conferences and mixed zones for the written press in favour of a more relaxed I-Zone. A cumulative total of over 3,900 interviews took place in the I-Zones over the period of the Games. Enhanced access for non rights holders and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) was negotiated enabling them to have access with cameras to the I-Zones on competition days as well as the Athletes’ Village which was immensely appreciated and led to much more coverage of the Games and great good will among NOCs.
The event was exciting in many ways, not least because the remit was to be innovative in delivering this brand new event. Pearce International took this seriously and fully implemented the I-Zone – the flagship innovation – radically eradicating post event media conferences and mixed zones for the written press in favour of a more relaxed I-Zone. A cumulative total of over 3,900 interviews took place in the I-Zones over the period of the Games.
A comprehensive Event News Service was provided, password free, on the event web site and was managed by the press operations team. An innovative approach to athlete biographies saw a combination of press operations staff and multi-national and multilingual volunteers work directly with NOCs to provide athlete led biographies.
A full mentoring programme was also put in place whereby senior management professionals in a venue (Venue Media Manager and Venue Photo Supervisor) had an Azerbaijani Deputy who was trained and mentored with overwhelmingly successful results. A total of 53 young Azerbaijani professionals and 135 volunteers benefitted from the 70 international staff. Also benefitting were 12 Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive (AIPS) Young Reporters who were welcomed to the event.
I have been in the business of major event planning and delivery for over thirty years. In my work which has included senior executive roles with multiple Olympic Games, World Cup, World Championships and Continental Games I have had the privilege of working with many of the best event professionals in the world. Jayne Pearce sits at the top of any such list.
Jayne’s knowledge of media operations is unparalleled. When combined with the respect she has from world wide media she has proven to be an invaluable asset to organizing committees as well as the event “owners”. She is exceptional at developing and advocating for the right solutions, within the constraints of budget, time and competing interests within the major event environment. Jayne understands the challenges of the organizers and the real needs of the media as a client group. She is exceptional at finding the balance point between the two.
As a senior executive in major events I face a constant flow of issues for difficult resource decisions. My trust and respect for Jayne Pearce is such that I know if Jayne is advocating for something, it is invariably something we must do. I know she will have done the homework. She will have worked with the client group, her organizing committee colleagues and resource providers. She will already have explored and analyzed the options and she will have arrived at the best solution. In her calm and pleasant style Jayne is no nonsense, high value and simply the best at her craft.
Jayne’s understanding of the international broadcast media – and in particular the agencies – has been of great benefit to SNTV in 2015. Jayne was instrumental in setting-up the izones in competition venues at the European Games in Baku, helping SNTV generate sports-focused content and athlete reaction for our broadcast and digital clients around the world. Jayne also coordinated agency access to the mixed zones at the Rugby World Cup, where once again SNTV saw great client pick-up.