Leipzig Olmpics 2012

“Es hing ja einiges von der Präsentation ab und Leipzig hat die erwartet starke Präsentation abgegeben, das war sehr emotional und sehr packend.”

Dr. Thomas Bach, (damals) IOC Vize-Präsident


“Ich habe einige glasige Augen gesehen. Das war die einzige Präsentation, die man richtig im Bauch gespürt hat.”

Klaus Steinbach, NOK-Chef, ZDF.de, 14.04.03


“Die Präsentation war natürlich der absolute Hammer.”

Sebastian Krumbiegel. Lead-Sänger der “Prinzen” im ZDF


“Mir standen die Tränen in den Augen.”
Henry Maske, Ex-Profiboxweltmeister, Süddeutsche Zeitung v. 14.04.03


“Diese Bewerbung ging wahrlich uns allen unter die Haut. Ich habe selten so viel Aufmerksamkeit für eine Bewerbung gesehen. Absolute Klasse.”
Gerd Rugenbauer live in der ARD am 12.04.03


“Der Film hat glaube ich den letzten Schub gebracht.”
Georg Milbradt, Ministerpräsident von Sachsen


“Eine Präsentation, die unter die Haut geht. Mancher Zuschauer im Saal ist zu Tränen gerührt, Leipzigs Appell geht an die Herzen.”

Thorsten Kutschke live in der ARD am 12.04.03


“Die stärksten Emotionen hatten mit einem einrucksvollen Film gesiegt. In der nationalen Bewerbung haben die Leipziger schon mal großes Kino gezeigt.”

Susanne Simon, ZDF, heute-journal


“Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder war noch immer beeindruckt. “S’Beschde war doch… wie der Kanalarbeiter da raufsteigt und der andere schon weg ist, Demnach hat Heinz von den Leipziger Stadtwerken die Stimmen der 6,26 Millionen Mitglieder im Deutschen Fußball-Bund gewonnen.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung v. 12.04.03


“Jetzt sind wir alle Leipziger.”
Bild, 14.04.03, S. 1

Image film for the olympic application of Leipzig 2012 / 12′.

Winner of the presentation of German NOK on 12.04.03

Agency: abold – Büro für Marketingkommunikation GmbH

Production company:  Wolff Brothers, Bertram Wolff

Prices:   –  Corporate Media Award

Preis: European Masterclass – “Award of Master”
Kategorie: Public Relations

–  Intercom International Communications Film & Video Competition

Preis: “Silver Plaque”
Kategorie: Public Relations – Non-Profit Organization

–  New York 2004 International Film & Video Awards

Preis: Gold World Medal 2004
Kategorie: Government

Making of

In 2003, the German Olympic Committee organized a national competition between five German cities and regions for the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, inviting Leipzig, which was, however, only sympathetically laughed at by the applicant cities in the West, especially by the favourite Hamburg. The agency Abold, which had already designed the stadiums for the World Cup in South Africa, commissioned the production company Wolff Brothers to develop and produce an image film for the final presentation. About the Wolff Brothers, I came into the game as a director.

The original idea was to filmically prepare the organisational concept of the Olympic application and to underlay it with some nice pictures of Leipzig. Unfortunately, however, film is not particularly well suited for this. Such info films often get a bit boring. Organizational charts are best packed in brochures, so you can take your time to read them. Furthermore it was clear that main competitor Hamburg sent star director Dieter Wedel into the race and equipped him with all artistic freedoms and a generous budget.

Our budget was comparatively modest. We were the underdog nobody expected. Since the competition was tough and we didn’t know what Wedel was doing in Hamburg, we decided to focus on what film does best right from the start: Emotion. And since we only had one shot, we immediately played with the great emotion orchestra. The really big one.

Heinz...? Heinz!

The Leipzig Olympic film therefore doesn’t even try to visualize figures and the Olympic organization – but to grab the city itself and its spirit emotionally. In addition, we came a long way through the recent history of the city. The demonstrations against the GDR regime began in Leipzig’s legendary Monday demonstrations – so the Olympic film begins with the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall. Lord Mayor Wolfgang Tiefensee agreed to come on stage with the cello and play live “Dona Nobis Pacem” by Johann Sebastian Bach, a song that the citizens of Leipzig “bore” in the time of the peaceful revolution, as Tiefensee put it. It went on in this style. Weizsäcker and Genscher talked about the courage and strong morals of the Leipzig people, star architect Peter Eisenman about the likeable idea of building mobile stadiums, the Leipzig Kathi Witt and Michael Ballack about the enthusiasm for sports in the city. During our research on site, the enthusiasm for the Olympic project was obvious. To make these tangible, we sent a symbolic Olympia through the city to further foment this emotion and which at the end, underpinned by Beehoven’s “Ode to Joy”, joins half of the city.

It was all or nothing. Either the delegates would turn away in indignation, or we managed to get a little under their skin in this dry event and put the idea into their heads that the first German candidate city after reunification could only be Leipzig. The strategy was successful. Leipzig prevailed, as the Wikipedia correctly writes, with “an emotional application in the final against Hamburg”, to which the film, as you can see in the press reviews, had contributed its shaken measure.

Incidentally, Wedel’s Hamburg application film was not shown in Munich at all. A week before the presentation, the Senate had seen the film and made it disappear in the poison cupboard. I met Wedel years later on the train and he scolded the Hamburg pepper sacks who didn’t have the courage to show his film. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen him. If anyone has a copy of it, please write me a small mail.

People with little time will find the two trailers here. Below you can find the film once as a compilation of the five film modules without the live performances. Below you can find the recording of the complete presentation with the performances of Wolfgang Tiefensee, Richard von Weizsäcker, Kurt Masur etc. Have fun.

Showreel-Version without the live-parts:

Entire presentation with live-parts: