JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 25 June, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd, a global leader in consumer electronics and a Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, recently revealed its Olympic Torch Relay programme that kicked off internationally in May 2012. The African leg of the relay is set to take place in just under a week's time. Samsung has a legion of inspirational international Olympic Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame around the UK during its 70-day relay. Samsung will bring the excitement to towns and villages across the UK through the Samsung Caravan and 20-minutes of stage performances at the evening celebrations, offering new inspiring opportunities for everyone to experience and take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Samsung's torchbearer search
During 2011, Samsung launched a six-month global search for Torchbearers who had demonstrated how they had 'gone the extra mile'. Nominations were received from 58 countries around the world, enabling Samsung's London 2012 campaign to deliver the most inclusive Olympic Games ever – Olympic Games for Everyone. Every Torchbearer has been carefully selected for their unique contribution to local communities and their demonstration of the Olympic spirit.
London 2012 Olympic Torchbearers will have their experience further enriched by the involvement of an array of celebrity Torchbearers including, nine-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist John Legend. Legend is well-known for his work to break the cycle of poverty and improve educational opportunities for all kids though his 'Show Me' Campaign.
Samsung gives back to inspirational people
Commenting on his Torchbearer invitation, Legend said, “This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and I'm looking forward to meeting some of the amazing people from all walks of life that Samsung has invited to take part.”
Samsung has selected a number of globally recognised Torchbearers who are known for their continuous inspiration to others. British TV star and campaigner Jamie Oliver, Ivory Coast and Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba and Vladimir Tolstoy, the essayist and great grandson of Leo Tolstoy, will all join Legend in carrying the Olympic Flame.
Didier Drogba, a star striker for Chelsea FC, with which Samsung has partnered since 2005, was nominated to become an Olympic Torchbearer in recognition of his continuous efforts to improve health and education services for children in Africa through the Didier Drogba Foundation. A passionate supporter of free sporting activities for underprivileged youngsters in London, Didier Drogba commented: "It is a great honour to be recognised for the work I do off the pitch; in local London communities or campaigning to improve the lives of children in Africa. It has always been my goal to change things for the better. The Olympic Torch Relay celebrates just a handful of the many extraordinary people that regularly put others' needs before their own and this is what I will be celebrating.”
The Olympic Torch is the emotional symbol of the Olympic Games which marks the beginning and the end of the Olympic Games. It also presents an opportunity to general public to take part in the Olympic Games by offering them a chance to carry the Olympic Flame. Since Athens 2004, Samsung has sponsored the Olympic Torch Relay in two Youth Olympic Games and three Olympic Games, and is now entirely committed to delivering its sixth Olympic Torch for London 2012 to share the Olympic Spirit with everyone across the world. The Samsung Caravan will travel with Torchbearers around the UK during the 70-day relay. An interactive LED screen built into the side of the Caravan will feature Olympic Torch Relay highlights as well as avatars of participants for Samsung Hope Relay, a virtual Olympic Torch Relay that allows everyone to take part. The caravan is designed to cheer up everyone to celebrate the Torch Relay with music and interaction with local communities such as by distributing Olympic keepsakes to crowds.
Providing the Olympic Games for everyone
To welcome the Olympic Flame and to celebrate the combined efforts of all its Torchbearers, Samsung joined the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and the host Local Authority to stage an evening celebration event, which showcased a series of exciting shows featuring groups such as 'Britain's Got Talent' dance group Diversity who were prepped to thrill the crowds. Topping the bill was the brand new Samsung GALAXY S III – Samsung's Olympic Games phone for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Spectators were able to visit the Samsung Mobile Trailer to enjoy an immersive entertainment experience and to explore the world's most advanced smartphone, the GALAXY S III, before it was released to market.
Sunny Hwang, Vice President and Head of Global Sports Marketing, Samsung Electronics, said; “Our aim is for London 2012 to be an Olympic Games for everyone. Our worldwide campaign to find deserving people to carry the Olympic Flame has offered people across the world a once-in-lifetime opportunity to be involved in this amazing event. We have also prepared a variety of entertaining elements to build the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay for communities along the route. We are looking forward to this momentous journey.”
Samsung empowers people across the world
Says Michelle Potgieter, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Samsung South Africa; “In South Africa we have selected a number of local representatives to carry the torch for the African leg of the relay and to represent both South Africa and Samsung in the empowering of people for world peace and unity. Through our local campaign we identified a number of individuals who have made a difference in our communities. We will also be taking a media contingency, individuals selected through our mobile division and those selected from our online competition.
“The African leg of the relay will take place from 29 June to 02 July in Birmingham – whereby Samsung South Africa will be hosting and supporting these individuals as they carry the torch for our country. We look forward to this exciting leg of the event and are sure that the impact these people have had on others' lives within our communities will be returned in favour through this prestigious event,” continues Potgieter.
“As one of the three Presenting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Samsung will play a key role in delivering the excitement through its smart technology and enabling everyone around the world to take part in the historic moment,” concludes Potgieter.
The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay began its 70 day journey around the UK on Saturday May 19th taking in many of the UK's cultural landmarks. Visiting over 1,000 cities, towns and villages along its 8,000 mile route, the Olympic Flame aims to inspire the UK with spirit of the Olympic Games and marks the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games prior to its celebrated arrival at the Olympic Stadium on July 27th. Samsung encourages everyone to celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay and to make London 2012 'Everyone's Olympic Games' by creating inspiring and memorable experiences for everyone around the world.