Q&A: Links of London chief exec David Riddiford

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Links boss on the brand’s partnership with the 2012 Olympics.

David Riddiford is the chief executive of Links of London, the official jewellery partner of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. He speaks to Kathryn Bishop about how the jewellery brand is working with this summer’s main event. 

Professional Jeweller: How did Links of London get involved with celebrating what is the biggest global event of 2012?

David Riddiford: It started when we gifted the Team GB athletes with our friendship bracelets at the 2008 Beijing Games. Through our contacts at the British Olympic Association the seed was sown to get more formally involved with the Olympics given London was awarded the 2012 Games. London being an intrinsic part of our brand story made it a natural fit.

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PJ: Has Links of London had to work closely with LOCOG when creating the 2012 and Team GB jewellery collections?
DR: We have worked closely with LOCOG throughout the whole process [using] the variety of assets that have been made available to us as a licensee.

PJ: The Team GB collection has an entry level price of £20. Do you hope to win a new customer base through this lower price point?
DR: Our official jewellery collection of London 2012 is in line with our mainline price points but the Team GB band is a product with an accessible £20 price tag, created in an effort to support the idea of a Games for everyone.  We have already seen huge support from celebrities wearing the band, ranging from JLS to Stephen Fry as well as lots of Team GB athletes. In having this lower price point product we hope to give those that have always aspired to buy in to the brand the opportunity to do so and to inspire the nation to get behind Team GB.  We also plan to launch a range of similar bands in other colours so that international visitors can also buy into this product. 

PJ: How many countries will the London 2012 collections be exported to?
DR: We will be offering the official jewellery collection of London 2012 in most of our overseas markets and are also happy that we can positively use our association with the Games to promote our business overall in these markets.

PJ: Has Links lined up any PR events to promote its Olympic collection?
DR: The torch relay will be a key activity for us as it will allow us to work with our entire retail estate as the torch passes through key cities across the UK. We also have a number of social media and PR initiatives planned which will encourage consumer participation.

PJ: The Games are expected to leave a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the UK economy after they have ended. Do you agree?
DR: We hope our involvement will have a long lasting benefit to our business, through raising the profile of our brand domestically and internationally.  We also hope to further the many great corporate relationships we have made.

 

This article was taken from the April 2012 issue of Professional Jeweller magazine. To view a digital version of this issue online click here.

 

 

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