As part of Lenovo’s sponsorship of the 2008 Summer Olympics, they have set up an athlete’s blog aggregator. This allows fans to connect with the athletes on a more authentic level than the melodramatic tv coverage.
From the about statement:
We have invited a collection of athletes from every sport and every region around the world to blog about their experiences leading up to and during the Olympic Games. In some cases, these athletes were already blogging. In others, we helped them to start their blogs and get into blogging for the first time. Together, they represent the real stories of the Games. Athletes who may or may not win a medal, but have struggled, persevered and taken years of their life to be a part of those few short weeks in August when the world’s attention will turn to Beijing and their dreams will take center stage.
All the athletes participating in our program were provided with new Ideapad laptops and video cameras to capture their experiences. They all also agreed to place a badge on their blogs indicating that they were part of our program (to be fully transparent), and also all agreed to allow their blog posts to be pulled into this site you are reading now. They were NOT paid in any way apart from the machines, and have not been asked or required to write about Lenovo in any way.
We are producing this program with our partners, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence and have adhered to the best practices set out for campaigns like this by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). Athletes are provided support for starting their blogs, but Lenovo does not regard the blogs of the participating athletes to be Lenovo blogs – nor will Lenovo ever ask for any overt advertising or sponsorship acknowledgement on the athlete’s blogs. These properties are the property and responsibility of the athlete and are not subject to editorial management in any form by Lenovo, Ogilvy or Google. Terms and conditions are governed by Google’s standard terms for its Blogger and YouTube properties, and content guidelines have been established by the IOC.