LMU Center for Asian Business D.K. Kim Lecture Series, in collaboration with the Center for International Business Education and the Department of Communication Studies, presented a webinar on Sept. 14 titled “Planning Ahead for the LA28 Olympic & Paralympic Games: Lessons from Tokyo.” The webinar featured Ashley Dos Santos, LA28 senior director of communications, and was moderated by Christopher Finlay, associate professor and associate chair of communications studies, and Shaun M. Anderson, associate professor of communication studies.
LA28 is the Los Angeles organizing committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028. This will be the third time that Los Angeles has hosted the Olympic Games and the first time hosting the Paralympic Games. LA28 is a privately funded non-profit organization that is governed by a volunteer board of directors with support from corporate partners.
Dos Santos specializes in strategic communications, brand development, and global media relations. Her role at LA28 is to deliver the ultimate experience for the athletes, maximize the existing sports infrastructure to ensure a sustainable long-term legacy, and to increase diversity and inclusion. “Our charge as an organizing committee is to ensure that we create an amazing games experience for athletes and fans and for the Los Angeles community as a whole,” said Dos Santos.
In keeping with that goal, LA28 has looked to organizers in Tokyo who have been valuable partners in sharing their key learnings that might be applied to the Los Angeles games. Likewise, LA28 organizers are in almost daily contact with their counterparts in Paris which will host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Dos Santos added, “Los Angeles is recognized as a global city because of its highly creative economy and strong entrepreneurial base.” The sports and entertainment industries attract multiple international and domestic businesses and hosting the Olympic Games in Los Angeles will further contribute to economic growth.
Dos Santos emphasized that there is an abundance of world-class venues available in Los Angeles which facilitates the organization in planning the events. By having the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, LA28 has more financial flexibility. UCLA will house the Athlete’s Village while other universities, stadiums, arenas and various locations throughout the city of Los Angeles and Southern California will serve as Olympic venues. Also, in keeping with LA28’s commitment to maintaining sustainability, Dos Santos pointed out that these venues are sustainable. “The most sustainable venue is the one that you don’t have to build, and we have so many already that we will be utilizing,” said Dos Santos.
The wide-ranging discussion also addressed the impact the Olympic games will have on local businesses, particularly those engaged in international trade and investment. Dos Santos described a new model created by LA28 for commercial partnerships. “We have the first ever global hospitality program created in partnership with endeavors on location and all the organizing committees between Paris and LA28 to really create a brand new model of how hospitality can be done to create an efficient and distinct experience for all the games,” said Dos Santos.
A lively Q&A generated further discussion about LA28’s emphasis on the importance of sustainability as well as the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
View the webinar here.