Jack Morton Co-Producing Salt Lake 2002 Paralympics Winter Games Ceremonies

Story Filed: Thursday, February 28, 2002 11:19 AM EST

NEW YORK, Feb 20, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Jack Morton Worldwide, a New York-based brand communication and event marketing agency that is part of The Advanced Marketing Services group of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG), announced today its appointment by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (SLOC) to co-produce the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Salt Lake 2002 Paralympics Winter Games.

Jack Morton is producing the Paralympic Ceremonies in partnership with SLOC. The agency is known for producing events of similar scale and impact around the world, including the 1997 ceremonies in Hong Kong to mark its handover from British to Chinese authority, the 2000 Royal Military Tattoo celebrations in London, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Jack Morton was hired by SLOC to co-produce the Paralympics Ceremonies in October 2001. Christopher Laue, Vice President of Operations in Jack Morton's Los Angeles office and a seasoned producer of large-scale special events, is leading the Jack Morton team.

As co-producer of the 2002 Paralympics Ceremonies, Jack Morton will be responsible for all production and technical management needed to mount two events of such high production value and global visibility. Highlights of Jack Morton's responsibilities include:


* Realizing the Ceremonies' creative theme of Inspire the Spirit --
the achievement of 1,000 elite athletes from 36 countries whose
passionate pursuit of excellence triumphs over physical disability.
* Managing all on-site operations and technical requirements for
Ceremonies that will reach a live audience of 55,000 as well as a
global TV and Web audience.
* Collaborating with International Sports Broadcasting (ISB) on the
television coverage.
* Coordinating on-site production team of over 150 including show
operations staff, lighting, audio, special effects, wardrobe and
staging technicians, as well as 350 supporting volunteers.
* Managing all talent for the Ceremonies, comprising some 900
performers, including Billy Gilman, Vanessa Mae and Donny Osmond.
More headline talent will be announced soon.
"Jack Morton is a great partner to produce Paralympic Ceremonies," said SLOC's Paralympic Ceremonies Executive Producer Joedy Lister. "They combine a unique passion for their work with the professional ability to make events of this scale and significance happen flawlessly."

The Paralympic Opening Ceremony will reach a live audience of 55,000 and a worldwide TV and Web audience that is expected to be the largest ever for the celebrations, which for the first time in the 26-year Paralympic history will be mounted in the same venues as the Olympic ceremonies and under the auspices of the same organizing committee. The Opening Ceremony for the 2002 Paralympic Games will take place on March 7th at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium. The Closing Ceremony will take place at Olympic Medals Plaza on March 16th. A one-hour broadcast of highlights from the Opening Ceremony will be aired on March 9th at 2:00 PM on NBC.

"We're honored by the opportunity to co-produce the Paralympic Ceremonies," said Jack Morton's Chairman & Chief Executive, William Morton. "The passion that leads these athletes to transcend physical disability is a spirit we're inspired by -- and honored to help salute."

Jack Morton Worldwide creates experiences that motivate target consumer and business audiences, integrating live meetings and events, exhibits and environments, digital media, learning, lead generation and other programs. Headquartered in New York, Jack Morton has a staff of nearly 1,000 employees in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. It is part of the Advanced Marketing Services group of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. Jack Morton can be visited at http://www.jackmorton.com.

The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc., is the world's largest organization of marketing communications and marketing services companies. Its major global companies include McCann Erickson WorldGroup, The Partnership, The FCB Group and Advanced Marketing Services. The shares of Interpublic trade on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: IPG).