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The Race to Rio

by John Chilton | Dec 27, 2016

As a Sales Consultant at TopSpot for nearly seven years, I have been fortunate to work with some very diverse clients in a variety of industries. I’m constantly amazed at the ingenuity that drives our Manufacturing marketplace. Our job is to get those unique products exposure on Google and in turn, drive sales for our clients. Internally at TopSpot, I’m backed up by some of the most business savvy and technologically proficient people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. This makes my job even more enjoyable as I get to work in an industry that I love, while our team produces amazing results for our clients. When you combine a veteran sales force with a team of tech experts, you have a recipe for success.

That being said, when I began my advertising career nearly 25 years ago, I never thought that my work would find me at the Olympics. That is exactly what happened in Rio in August.

There's an adage that says "it's better to be lucky than good." That statement fits in this case. With TopSpot's status as a Premier Google Partner, we participate in annual worldwide sales incentive contests. Over 2015/2016, Google launched a contest for new Adwords PayPerClick accounts with a trip to the Rio Olympics on the line.

Rio Olympics Logo

An imperative component of a solid Internet Marketing presence is Paid Search. This is where the bulk of my clients start their relationship with TopSpot. I had a pretty strong showing in new PPC sales but came up short within our company. However, our longtime star salesperson Warren Martin could not make the trip. And that's where the luck comes in…I was fortunately chosen to take part in the Race to Rio.

The all around amazing experience started with all 85 winners from around the world and 25 Google employees meeting for dinner and drinks at the Olympic Rowing venue, Lagoa de Freitas. The diversity and creativity within our group was evident right away. Google being one of the most prestigious and popular companies in the world, the talent was no surprise.

 Race to Rio Group Photo

Group photo of the contest winners in Rio

Over the course of the next six days, we were whisked around Rio to a bevy of events, dinners, tours, and beaches. Some of the highlights included:

The hospitality suite at the Women’s Beach Volleyball stadium where we had the opportunity to see the American Team win their match convincingly.

On the second day, we were taken to a prominent Salsa school in Rio where we danced and ate traditional local food for hours. It was fun because it was a great bonding experience for everyone in the group. The caliber of people I met on this trip was incredible.

An outstanding vantage point of Rio is from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (or as I found out in an interesting cab ride, Pão de Açúcar in Portuguese). Being an avid landscape photographer, this was a place that I had to hit.

 Sugarloaf Mountain

The misty clouds sailing past the gondola as the sun set and the energy of Rio started to light up.

However, my favorite excursion was to the top of the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue that stands watch over the city. It was foggy as we made our journey to the top (which consisted of a bus ride, tram ride, and escalator), but the view once we arrived was truly an awe inspiring site. A pretty big added bonus was seeing the Men's USA Basketball Team walking by as we gazed up. It's not every day that you see Kevin Durant and Draymond Green getting selfies with Christo.

Christ the Redeemer Statue

Me with a fellow Race to Rio Winner (not pictured: my new best friends Kevin & Draymond)

I have memories that will last a lifetime, and I hope friendships that endure that long as well. My next big task is trying to figure out which international Googlers to visit first: the Argentinians or the Australians is a great problem to have! And Warren….I’ll take second anytime!

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