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Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson Young Leaders

Designing a program for an Olympic legend to inspire a new generation of leaders

What they wanted

Multiple Olympic Gold medalist, Michael Johnson, wanted to create something that unified his belief in excellence and the power of sport for social change with the unique asset of his performance centers.

What we did

We worked closely with Michael to really understand the impact he wanted to make and the role he wanted to play in the delivery of our creation. We then identified the unique things that Michael could offer and mapped them against global need and gaps in provision.

Our analysis identified that in communities around the world young people are overcoming adversity, giving back to their communities and showing real leadership potential. However, due to their life circumstances, they often find themselves forced to stop participating, leading and volunteering within their communities. We wanted to create something that would provide these young people with the opportunity to transcend the barriers preventing them from pursuing a future in sport, leadership and giving back to their communities.

We created a bespoke charitable initiative – Michael Johnson Young Leaders. Through an annual program focusing on sporting performance, leadership development and community engagement, the initiative provides these extraordinary individuals with the confidence, skills and resources to achieve a better future. Michael is fully involved in the program from selection of beneficiaries through to ongoing mentoring throughout the year.

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What happened

Michael loved the initiative and asked us to manage it for him. We created the brand strategy, narrative and communications plan, which we now deliver. We are also responsible for the year-round delivery of the program which includes identifying and shortlisting potential beneficiaries; developing and overseeing the delivery and logistical needs of a 10-day curriculum that is delivered to a new cohort each year at Michael Johnson Performance in Dallas, USA, as well as a year-round package of support; supporting the growing alumni of Michael Johnson Young Leaders to remain engaged and to become mentors themselves to new Young Leaders coming through the program; and, monitoring and evaluating the program and using the learnings to continuously offer Michael opportunities to enhance his work.

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