Which brands are consumers passionate about? How do these brands turn engagement into sales? What can we learn from campaigns that might not have gone as planned?

Why is the greatest footballer the world has ever known on the cover of our magazine?

Let me explain.

MediaCom recently announced that it would be helping the great man establish new partnerships with brands around the world. For us, this relationship heralds an exciting evolution of both the agency and our sports division, MediaCom Sport. I was delighted to welcome Pelé to our MediaCom HQ in London a few months ago, and unsurprisingly, everyone was far more  interested in Pelé than what I had to say about our expanding capabilities. But that’s alright. The continued interest in a 71-year-old man (who hasn’t played in decades) is indicative of how  passionate people are about football – and about sport.

We saw that passion this past summer, as huge crowds in London came together to celebrate the Olympics and Paralympics. The optimism and fan excitement were palpable, even to TV viewers. Why?  Because sport exemplifies the power of passions to ignite and excite a city, a country and the world. as consumers become increasingly critical of the hard  sell, we believe  that authentically leveraging consumer passions  – such as sport – is a powerful way  to break  through.

And that’s another reason why Pelé is on our cover and profiled in this edition: because this issue is all about passion.

We learn what it takes to become a brand that consumers are passionate about andwhat happens when brands get it wrong. We explore how TV viewing has been transformed into an active, passionate experience, while we debate using passion as a new way of segmenting consumer audiences. And just to be a bit controversial, we’ve asked a Professor of Philosophy for his take on brands’ increasing responsibilities in a challenging world.

I hope this issue of Blink helps you appreciate and think about using the power of passion, whether it be for sport, music or another consumer favourite.

As for me, I can only hope I look as good and have as much energy at 71 as Pelé. Maybe passion keeps us young.

Stephen Allan

MediaCom Worldwide Chairman and CEO

Characteristics of a Passionate Brand
Go Sky Connecting with Sports Fans: How MediaCom Launched a Mobile App for Sky