WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell will follow in the footsteps of singer Will.i.am and global soccer star David Beckham when he takes part in the 2012 Olympic Torch relay on Sunday, July 22 .
Mr. Sorrell, whose $20 million pay package is being reviewed by the WPP board after 60% of shareholders voted against it at last month's annual meeting, will carry the torch through Redbridge, a neighborhood in Northeast London.
Mr. Sorrell, 67, will be one of 28 torch-bearers on the day, ranging in age from 12 to 85. The others include a teacher, a 12-year-old sports star and a teenager with a malignant brain tumor who has launched her own charity to help sick young people.
The Redbridge leg of the route starts at precisely 7:19 a.m., and the celebrations around the event have been named "Rise and Shine Redbridge." There will be sports activities, a tai chi display and a breakfast BBQ to mark the occasion.
The torch arrived in the U.K. on May 18 to kick off a 10-week relay around the country, with around 8,000 torch-bearers carrying the flame through more than 1,000 cities, towns and villages. The relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was a more international affair, but was marred by protests over China's human-rights records, so the 2012 relay is confined to the U.K.
Despite its more local nature this time, the relay has still attracted some controversy. The flame was accidentally extinguished by waves during a canoeing event, and on another occasion, a naked man - with "Free Tibet" emblazoned on his back -- disrupted proceedings by jumping out in front of an unsuspecting runner.
When Black-Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am carried the torch through Taunton, he tweeted his progress, but managed to alienate Brits by spelling the name of the town wrong. The torch has been carried by a mix of athletes, people who have contributed to the local community, businessmen and individuals chosen by the three "presenting partners" -- Samsung, Coca-Cola and Lloyds TSB Bank.
In June, Mr. Sorrell was onstage for a debate about sports marketing at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with Sebastian Coe, a British Olympic Gold Medal winner, who is now chairman of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG). During the presentation, Mr. Coe revealed that Mr. Sorrell had played an important role in LOCOG's marketing strategy.