"Chock-full of backstage Olympic lore, this is the book to read if you'd like a business angle on the decisions of the International Olympic Committee. The source is not entirely objective. Author Michael Payne was the Olympics first marketing director and held high-level posts for twenty years but its a compelling read nonetheless, spiced up with a fine selection of black and white photos….[a] unique perspective on the most famous recurring spectacle in the world."
Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge
"Though the Olympic movement grew confidently after its revival by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1896, by the 1970s, Payne writes, decay had set in. With terrorist killings at the 1972 Munich Games, huge cost overruns at the 1976 Montreal Games, and successive boycotts at the Montreal, Moscow, and Los Angeles events, many believed that the Olympic movement would soon end. Payne describes how the International Olympic Committee reinvented itself in the 1980s under the leadership of Juan Antonio Samaranch, and how the Olympic Games became the world's best-known brand, attracting billions in advertising and broadcast revenues. He should know. In 1983, he was hired to develop a marketing strategy for the IOC and he served as its marketing director over the course of 15 Olympic Games. This narrative is exceptionally well written, detailed yet clear, well referenced but not cluttered, firsthand but not self-serving. An easy, enjoyable, and often exciting read, it will fascinate anyone interested in the business of communication and advertising and of course anyone who has ever been intrigued by the Olympic Games themselves. Essential. All readers; all levels."
"This is the business story of the world's most valuable franchise and the largest event the world: the Olympic Games. Payne served as the International Olympic Committee's top marketer for over twenty years. He here gives readers access to the people, the negotiations and the machinations behind the turnaround of the Olympic franchise, from its nadir in the early 1980s when it was financially, politically, and culturally bankrupt, to its present place of prestige. The stories--many previously untold--of this organizational renewal come from the pit where business, sports, politics and media meet."
Reference & Research Book News
"For this interested in the business of the Olympic Games….Michael Payne's book is must reading. The book is in effect a kind of business school case study, albeit a glamorous one, providing intriguing lessons on big stakes negotiations, corporate espionage and a glimpse into the backroom doings of prominent people."
United States Curling News
"No one is better qualified than Michael Payne to reveal the intricate details behind the Olympic renaissance. Olympic Turnaround is more than a compelling story of deal brokering at the highest levels; it's a lesson in creative problem solving and brand building that will appeal to sports fans and business leaders in equal measure."
Peter Ueberroth, President of the United States Olympic Committee and Former Commissioner of Major League Baseball and President and CEO of the Los Angeles Games, 1984