Only a dozen people work at Panasonic’s Worldwide Olympic Games Marketing Office. However, as many as 500 to 600 Panasonic staff supported the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.
Takuichi Hayashi, Deputy Director of the Beijing Olympic Project Office at the Panasonic Corporation of China, says, “The Olympic Games is a special sporting event that brings together people of different languages and cultures. For us at Panasonic, nothing makes us happier than to be the bridge that connects the passion of the Games, both among spectators and with the world. There are four months left before the main event. Our staff will continue to prepare as a team to make the Beijing 2008 a big success.”
A Plan Built from Scratch over Five Years
Since 1988, Panasonic has supported the Olympic Games as one of the TOP (The Olympic Partner) sponsors. The preparations for Beijing 2008 started four years prior, during Athens 2004. Planning for Beijing 2008 had been a long, five-year project for Panasonic.
Starting a year before in 2007, many lead-up events to Beijing 2008 were held in Beijing as enthusiasm grew for the Olympic Games. A good example of Panasonic’s participation was with the “One-Year Countdown Ceremony” held at the Tiananmen Square. At 8 p.m. on August 8th, 2007, exactly one year before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, the show kicked off with approximately 500 fireworks. The gigantic, 580-inch ASTROVISION mirrored the show, electrifying spectators as the fireworks displayed on the screen measuring 8.1 meters high and 12.3 meters wide. Watching the crowd become one, the Team Panasonic members reaffirmed their mission to support the Olympic Games and were able to strengthen their bond as a team unit.
A Natural Partner for Olympic Games Beijing 2008
Panasonic has had a working relationship with China of close to 30 years, since founder Konosuke Matsushita first visited in 1979. Panasonic is highly recognized as the first foreign company to establish a company in China. There are government officials who still call Panasonic “an old and good friend.” It is thanks to the mutual trust built up over the years that day-to-day collaborative efforts run smoothly. Given this relationship, responsibility weighed heavily on Beijing 2008 Project Office.
Hayashi says, “I work with many people every day using Chinese, English and Japanese. What is essential in uniting the international team is the meticulous communication with each member. Teamwork is truly the key to success and I acknowledge this constantly, trying to lead by example each day.”