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Los Angeles Partner with Snapchat for 2024 Olympics Bid

La Times
I know what you're thinking, 2024 seems insanely far away. Think about it, by 2024 we'll have had an entire new Star Wars trilogy for 5 years already, Marvel's Avengers cinematic saga will have been long since concluded, marijuana will almost definitely be legal across the entire US and much of the rest of the world, whoever wins the next presidential election will have either served their full term or be at the end of their second and if Mars One is to be believed, we'll be on the cusp of interplanetary colonization. Oh, and Facebook will be 20, wrap your head around that one.

Classically though, Olympic bidding (or really most bidding for the hosting of global sporting events) gets started way ahead of the due date. We put our bid for the 2012 games forward in 2003, and by 2005 we had it, giving us 7 years to prepare (I still maintain we did a damn good job, too). As far as the 2024 games go, we've just moved past the candidate submission deadline, and the cities now in the running are being evaluated. The final choice will be announced in September of next year, with several evaluation, inspection and elimination phases to come in the mean time. The candidates, as of now, are Rome, Paris, Budapest and Los Angeles.

All the cities have started their campaigning, hoping to win the support not only of their own residents, but others across the world. The Roman bid is being spearheaded by former Ferrari CEO and national treasure Luca di Montezemolo, France are pledging to build new sports venues all over Paris to support the games, and Budapest are hoping to make their first successful bid following 5 previously failed attempts. LA, comparatively, are steaming ahead with their promotion, having already designed graphics, a slogan ('Follow the Sun'), a video ad with a slew of hopeful future Olympians, Paralympians and a team of celebrity spokespeople (Kobe Bryant, Will Ferrell, Reggie Watts and Jessica Alba). Most significantly, though, they've partnered with Snapchat.

Snapchat, like so many other tech startups, originated in LA and has remained there ever since, and the city seems intent on selling the Olympic bid chiefly to a younger demographic. A series of brand new LA 2024 Geofilters have been unleashed, allowing LA-based users to overlay snaps of the city with the new logo and slogan. Each filter is unique to a particular location somewhere in the city, particularly areas which will play host to some of the events, should LA win the bid.

While that restricts non-LA residents from engaging in the promotion directly, it will mean that Snapchat's entire 100 million strong user base sees it regularly, increasing the chance that they will support it (unless they're Italian, Hungarian or French). This is only one aspect of a far wider initiative to make LA look more healthy, active and sports-orientated. They've already snagged one NFL team, the Los Angeles Rams (formerly of St. Louis) and by 2024 they could well have 2 of them. The increased youth appeal and progressive attitude has been commonplace for a while now, we are after all talking about a city whose mayor dropped an f-bomb during a speech, and later told those offended by it to 'lighten up'.

It remains to be seen how the European competitors will respond to LA's early lead in this contest, and many have argued that after the recent hardships in Paris, an Olympics might be an ideal way to boost resident morale and reinvigorate the city, but at the moment nothing substantial has materialized. LA certainly has the budget to host the games, which is an important factor, as it's been shown in the past that successful bids by countries coping with poverty can lead to dire situations.

The 2020 Tokyo games are a source of enormous excitement, but the 2016 Rio games have been a magnet for controversy, firstly in terms of scheduling issues, but increasingly because of water pollution, poor working environments and the nation's ongoing and increasingly damaging economic crisis. They've also allegedly been evicting people from Favelas deemed too close to the Olympic park. If LA did anything even remotely comparable to that, the rest of the USA would likely call for the city to be annexed, and unless anything drastic happens, they'll have the resources to make it amazing.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Los Angeles Partner with Snapchat for 2024 Olympics Bid Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, March 01, 2016 Rating: 5

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