Two weeks ago, just before the opening ceremony, I told my wife that I had no real interest in this year’s Olympic Games. The lack of crowds, in particular, I felt, would limit its excitement and appeal.

Within 24 hours, however, I found myself waking up at 5am to watch the road cycling. The pattern of early hours’ viewing has continued; it’s just each morning’s sport that changes. Swimming, hockey, boxing, rowing, athletics, basketball – even sailing and windsurfing – have all formed the focus of my early-morning viewing.

So, as you can see, I am something of an Olympics addict. Despite the geo-power politics that sits alongside the modern Games, the shadow of doping and the lack of accountability of the IOC, I find myself instantly attracted to the variety of the sports involved and the intensity of the competition.

But two sports have engaged me more than any other. If you’d asked me two weeks ago whether or not Freestyle BMX and Skateboarding were legitimate sports, I would probably have said no.

Not any longer. I have been astounded by the range of skills, the audacity of the tricks and the sheer bravery of the athletes. These sports totally deserve to be part of the Olympics. In fact, I would say that they are the future of the Games.

They have made the Olympics look and feel new and modern, while the camaraderie of the competitors displays the very best of the Olympic spirit. They are simultaneously innovative and embedded in the Games’ brand heritage.

A week ago I had never heard of a Kickflip Varial 540, the winning trick of Keegan Palmer’s gold-winning skateboard run, but I am now an armchair expert of Ollies, Backside Tailslides and Frontside Grabs.

So what’s your version of the Kickflip Varial 540? What initiatives is your business pursuing to excite your existing customers, dramatically grab the interest of your non-customers and demonstrate the very best of your brand and values?

Off The Record: Heaven Is A Halfpipe (If I Die) by OPM

If I die before I wake

At least in heaven I can skate

‘Cause right now on earth I can’t do jack

Without the man on my back

Getting Your Innovation Strategy Right

Business leaders are constantly exhorted to innovate. But what kind of innovation should managers pursue? The Innovation Strategy Matrix helps you to answer that question and get your innovation strategy right.