James Pearce – Pioneer, thorn, saviour…
I hadn’t actually had this piece planned for #L2012Days, but in the spirit of being newsy (or attempting to) I felt it apt to shove the agenda around.
And I’ll preface this brief piece by saying that I never met James Pearce, neither in the run-up to or during the London 2012 Games. Many of the renowned 2012Tweeps have done so and can speak more laudably about the man. What I will say about him is that, well, if people have a perception that loads missed out on tickets for the Olympics and Paralympics then a hell of a lot more would’ve missed the cut were it not for Mr. Pearce.
As someone who follows Social Media in general terms, he remains head-and-shoulders above his peers in telling the story through mediums such as Twitter. His play-by-play reporting of the Harry Redknapp fraud trial was a textbook example of the power of social. But instead of being one of many journalists who have a linear approach to their channels, James always found time to reply to followers and enquirers.
This I can speak of first hand. When I began the heady circumnavigation of buying Olympic tickets from European ATRs, James was someone who’d answer questions, share insight and in many instances fight for consumers to get access where resellers were not playing ball.
Many people who attended London 2012 (myself included) owe him (and his employer, the BBC) a huge debt of thanks for opening our eyes to the possibility that it was possible to go to our Olympics. That it was possible to attend more than one session. And that it was a mite disingenuous to try and shimmy around the Great British public.
Moreover, it was always a joy to follow the progress of someone who was as passionate about the London Olympics as we were. He was a journalist, but was as much a fanboy for this epic coming together of sport and culture.
Of course, this doesn’t intend to read like an obituary! As James is very much alive and kicking, and moving on to the challenges freelancing will bring. But just as I hold the 2012Tweeps in such high esteem for single-handedly getting thousands to London 2012, so I thank James for being a public face to all of our endeavours.
A Social Media pioneer, a thorn in the side of the shady ATR and a saviour for many a person’s summer. @Pearcesport – I salute you.