Beijing 2008 Olympic Games are Almost there
And Panasonic is on the Scene vol.1
The spotlight on Beijing continues to get brighter as the days count down to the August 8th start of the Olympic Games. In this corner we will post messages from Panasonic staff supporting the upcoming Games, and keep you up to date on their activities. Running the first leg here is Takuichi Hayashi, deputy director of the Beijing Olympic Project Office, Panasonic Corporation of China, which serves as the control tower for our support efforts.
- Takuichi (Jacky) Hayashi
- Deputy Director
Beijing Olympic Project Office
Panasonic Corporation of China
Hi, I'm happy to have the chance to communicate with you all. My name is Takuichi Hayashi, and I work for the Beijing Olympic Project Office. I've been in my present job here in Beijing for five years, and I've lived and worked in China for nine years altogether.
Panasonic has been a big player at the Olympic Games since 1988, when we first served as a TOP (The Olympic Partner) sponsor. We've been part of the Olympic Games since then. This experience has taught us a lot, which is why we knew to begin preparing for the Beijing Games four years ago, around the time of the Athens Games.
At that time there was no organizational structure in place for the Beijing Games, or even a sales route. So, our first step was to identify our sales targets, introduce our products to people in charge of the Olympic venues, and create structures for both the operational side in Japan and the sales section in Beijing. These steps eventually led to our delivery of equipment like LED large-screen Astrovision displays and RAMSA professional audio systems.
The more I think of it, the more I realize my job here is like a five-year business plan.
One of our main jobs at the Beijing Olympic Project Office is to let people all over the world know that Panasonic is an official worldwide Olympic partner. We use all kinds of marketing and promotional activities to get the message out, as well as activities at event sites.
Another big part our job is to deliver the products and then providing technical support during their actual operation. The Astrovision and RAMSA systems are good examples. These systems are absolutely critical to capturing and conveying the kind of passion and excitement the Olympic Games are so famous for. Our team has to make sure the right numbers of each kind of equipment get to the main stadium and other venues.
Since last year I've felt the Olympic spirit growing and growing in Beijing. All sorts of events have taken place. A good example is the big "1-Year Countdown" held in Tiananmen Square last year. On August 8th at 8:00 p.m. -one year to the minute before the opening ceremony is due to begin - about 500 fireworks were shot into the sky and exploded overhead, kicking off a big show. We provided a huge 580-inch Astrovision screen - that's 8.1 meters high and 12.3 meters wide - for the event. The crowd was totally awed by it.
There are about 12 people working at our office, and somewhere between 500 and 600 Panasonic staff members overall supporting the Games. Those of us who saw how the Astrovision screen absolutely thrilled spectators that night at Tiananmen Square got a strong sense of just how important our role is. Members of BOCOG - the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad - shook our hands and said they'd never seen large-screen images like the Astrovision that are this beautiful. For me personally, it was a night I'll never forget.
Panasonic has had a long relationship with China. We've been working together in one form or another since our founder, Konosuke Matsushita, first visited China in 1979. Among the Chinese, we're known as the first foreign-capitalized company to enter Beijing. Some government officials even refer to us "old and good friends." I'm sure that the mutual trust built up over the years is one reason why our work for the Olympic Games in China is going so smoothly. But each of us has to devote our efforts to the fullest. Everyone here at the Beijing Olympic Project Office feels it is our responsibility to build on this bond and carry it further into the future.
One thing that experience has shown me is that in a project as huge and complex as the Olympic Games, teamwork is truly the key to success. I also see that clear, close communication is vital to create and maintain a cohesive team. Everyday, I talk with people in whatever language we have in common - Chinese, English or Japanese - and I'm reminded that communication begins with me. I work hard every day to fulfill this important role as a bond of communication.
The Olympic Games is a sports festival that brings people together from all over the world - people with all kinds of different languages and customs. For us at Panasonic, nothing makes us happier than playing a role in this great event - being part of the passion and helping people all over the world enjoy it. We've got about four months to go. Everyone at our office is totally focused on making Beijing a big success.