Review by D. W. Hill, University of North Texas

Though the Olympic movement grew confidently after its revival by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1896, by the 1970s, Payne writes, "decay had set in." With terrorist killings at the 1972 Munich Games, huge cost overruns at the 1976 Montreal Games, and successive boycotts at the Montreal, Moscow, and Los Angeles events, many believed that the Olympic movement would soon end. Payne describes how the International Olympic Committee reinvented itself in the 1980s under the leadership of Juan Antonio Samaranch, and how the Olympic Games became the world's best-known brand, attracting billions in advertising and broadcast revenues. He should know. In 1983, he was hired to develop a marketing strategy for the IOC and he served as its marketing director over the course of 15 Olympic Games. This narrative is exceptionally well written, detailed yet clear, well referenced but not cluttered, firsthand but not self-serving. An easy, enjoyable, and often exciting read, it will fascinate anyone interested in the business of communication and advertising and of course anyone who has ever been intrigued by the Olympic Games themselves. Summing Up: essential. All readers; all levels.

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