Ian Thorpe launches Optus small business Olympic campaign

- May 16, 2016 3 MIN READ

Optus is shining a spotlight on small businesses in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics and is running a campaign which will see four small business owners jet off to Brazil this August, in an effort to boost their motivation and inspire them to achieve their business goals.

Australian small business owners work incredibly hard and in an effort to honour them for their dedication, the telco is running an online campaign which will give SMBs the opportunity to win a trip to experience the Olympic action firsthand.

To empower Australian SMB owners, Optus has appointed Ian Thorpe as ambassador and face of the campaign. The new SMB Olympics campaign features a fun, tongue-in-cheek teaser ad and a mockumentary around Ian’s own small business ‘ Thorpedo Pool Cleaning’, aimed at encouraging business owners to “aim for gold”.

Thorpe believes that there is a strong link between the challenges small business owners face and the obstacles athletes encounter preparing for the games including the late nights, the early starts, the fatigue, and the sacrifices to pursue their dreams and reach a goal.

“In sport you can have all of those hours of hard work and still not have the result that you desire and that’s where I think the synergy lies between the message of the campaign and the similarities between preparing for a large event and also be involved in a small business,” explained Thorpe.

“I spoke with Optus about the kind of support team you have around you when you’re preparing for the Olympic games or as an athlete preparing for a competition, whether it’s friends, family or your coaches. Optus really wants to provide the same support to small business and I think that’s a really neat thing that they’re doing and that they’re able to do to help small businesses grow,” said Thorpe.

Businesses can sign up at or and the campaign mechanism allows owners to contact friends and family but also customers so they can vote for their business for businesses to have a chance to win these tickets to the Olympic games.

The more businesses fill out their page and share their profile with customers to encourage them to engage with it, the more they are likely to win gold. Optus will award points to each business owner for their speed in completing the profile, the level of detail that they have given and the level of engagement they receive.

Throughout the process, Optus will award the best business pages with a Gold standard award. Those businesses will then go through to the final judging stage of the competition where the Optus SMB team will judge the Gold standard entries and select the four winning businesses to go to Rio.

In addition to the tickets, there will also be an opportunity for one lucky voter to win $10,000 as part of the competition so there is also a big incentive for people to get behind their local small business.

Thorpe acknowledges that small business owners are incredibly busy but says that the prize presents a once in a lifetime opportunity that will have great benefits for the luckily winners.

“I think the Olympics has a unique ability to inspire people, and it’s not only when you see the gold medal winning performances. When you see athletes participating from all around the world and see that just qualifiying can be part of the accomplishment, I think you gain an understanding and get an insight into what that level of commitment shows,” commented Thorpe.

“For the fortunate small business owners that win the opportunity to be able to go to the Olympics will feel inspired and even more motivated to see their small business be successful.”      

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