MassArt grad co-created Boston’s Olympic bid

A Massachusetts College of Art and Design graduate is directly responsible for Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic games.

Corey Dinopoulos, a long-time fan of the Olympics, decided to focus his 2006 senior thesis at MassArt, created while he was living in Mission Hill, on the branding campaign for a Boston Olympics.

“Long story short, my senior thesis to brand a Boston Olympic Games has snowballed into the effort it is today,” he told the Gazette.

He researched branding for past games, including Mexico 1963, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 and Los Angeles 1984. In December 2006, on Portfolio Review Day, Dinopoulos presented his thesis: a bid logo, pictograms, full-scale banners, signage, tickets, T-shirts and transportation routes.

It could’ve ended there, as Dinopoulos graduated, moved to South Boston and became a designer at Fidelity Investments. But Dinopoulos started to wonder—why doesn’t Boston actually make a bid?

In August of 2012, feeling inspired after watching the 2012 London Olympics, Dinopoulos sent letters to legislators at the State House as well as “key people” at City Hall, he said.

“I never bugged them, just sent letters once,” he said.

About three months later, he received a response from both the director of cultural events at City Hall and state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, the chairwoman for the Special Committee for Travel, Tourism and Culture in the state legislature.

Eric Reddy, a sports marketing and sales professional, had also pitched the idea of bringing the Olympics to Boston. Reddy and Dinopoulos chose to team up.

“Chris Cook, the city’s director of culture and events, put Eric and I in touch, so we met a few weeks later to discuss our passion of pushing the city to bid for the event,” he said.

They researched minimum requirements for a bid city and created a short presentation for Donoghue in late 2012.

While Donoghue “mulled the idea,” Dinopoulos said, he and Reddy worked through 2013 to create a nonprofit of community members, athletes and start-ups “to build a case for a Boston bid,” he said. They met monthly to create a website, social media platforms and “some local buzz, which was at first brushed off by many as a joke or pie-in-the-sky idea.”

But then Donoghue filed a bill that created an 11-member State House commission to investigate the possibility of hosting the Olympics. Reddy and Dinopoulos named Steve Freyer, the chairman of a previous Boston Olympics effort in 1993, to that commission.

Once the commission finished its work, it found hosting an Olympics to be feasible. And seeing as Boston met the minimum requirements of a host city, Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish and former state housing and economic development secretary Dan O’Connell created a new private entity in early 2014: Boston 2024. That nonprofit is now spearheading the Boston Olympic bid.

“Eric and I continued to operate our group, but we knew Fish had deeper pockets and more of a chance to move things along, so we shut down our efforts and helped out Fish’s team,” Dinopoulos said. “They hired me as a part-time consultant for design and social media management [and] content creation.”

As far as his original 2006 thesis design, Dinopoulos had to let it go.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wouldn’t allow the Olympic rings or torch to be used as a part of any logo. Dinopoulos’s design—which featured both—couldn’t be used for the 2024 bid.

“As far as design goes, my sailboat logo from MassArt sadly couldn’t be used, per IOC guidelines,” he said. But “I did work with Hill Holliday on the development of the new logo, which represents a futuristic laurel wreath.”

And Dinopoulos remains enthused about the possibility of hosting.

“To have a crazy idea and have it move along so quickly gives me hope that anyone in this city has the power to make a difference or strive for something that’s seemingly unbelievable. All you need is a little faith and a hell of a lot of determination,” he said. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

“And whether we get the Olympics or not, I think the conversation is an important one,” he added. “What can we all do together to make our city and state an exciting and thriving place to work, live and play? I know if we don’t get an Olympics, I’ll continue working to ensure Boston is such a place.”

Corey Dinopoulos. (Courtesy Photo)

Corey Dinopoulos. (Courtesy Photo)

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