The Olympics has always gone deeper than pride in one’s country and for Colorado Springs, it means pride in the city. Since 2016, Colorado Springs has been branded as Olympic City USA.
The city is home to the United States Olympic Committee with over 20 National Governing Bodies, Olympic Training Center, which houses over 10,000 athletes a year during training, and the upcoming Olympic Museum. Although athletes and coaches had recognized Colorado Springs as a model in Olympic sports, there was a gap for community relations and tourists.
In turn, the Mayor introduced a plan to progress the image of Colorado Springs, specifically a brand that could make the city stand out above others. The strong and ongoing connection with the Olympics is an asset Colorado Springs has. With the Olympic staples within, the City of Colorado Springs adopted the Olympic City USA brand in 2016 as the exclusive users. The logo includes triangles using the Olympic colors, instead of rings, to shape a representation of Pike’s Peak.
“Strong brands help create strong cities,” Vanessa Zink, senior communications specialist for the City of Colorado Springs, said. “Though Colorado Springs is more than just the Olympic and Paralympic movement here, it is a selling point to tourists, to businesses, and even to residents to take pride in Team USA.”
The brand was viewed as a way to heighten the image of Colorado Springs, lead to economic growth for the city and civic pride. The revised mission of the city included a promise “to inspire Olympic ideals and national pride in every person who lives, works and plays in Colorado Springs.” Furthermore, the Olympic ideals were incorporated into the city. These include excellence, friendship, respect and the Paralympic ideals of courage, determination, equality, and inspiration to go beyond sports and be absorbed and integrated into the community. These ideals allow for the building of a stronger city that each person can contribute to.
“The brand overall has been a successful experiment in taking a private organization and leveraging its range and identity to create a city-wide brand. It embraces the best parts of sports, which have nothing to do with sports in the end to embrace these values as a city makes us a great city, one we can be proud of.” Zink said.
However, due to the proprietary terminology of the word “Olympic,” it is hard to fully brand the city as Olympic City USA. With the restrictions of the word, Zink said the city needs approval prior to using the logo and Olympic City USA communications and marketing material.
“USOC partners pay millions of dollars to use the Olympic terminology and marks, and the Olympic brand is one of the most well recognized brands in the world, and we get to align ourselves with that brand awareness,” Zink said. “Salt Lake, Atlanta, Lake Placid, Los Angeles, and St. Louis have all hosted Summer or Winter Olympic Games but only Colorado Springs can claim to be Olympic City USA.”
The standing facilities, new museum and brand name project for a strong and bright future of spreading the Olympic values and movements.