Why The London 2012 Logo Is Hidden All Over The City

M@
By M@ Last edited 16 months ago

Last Updated 06 January 2023

Why The London 2012 Logo Is Hidden All Over The City

Did you know that there's a giant London 2012 logo lurking in Mile End Park?

Olympic logo in a park

And another beside the skate park in Charlton?

And here's yet another, behind a nursery in Beckton.

What can it betokeneth?

The oversized logos are, in fact, outdoor gyms. The free community facilities were set up by Adidas, as part of its sponsorship deal for the 2012 games. They are known officially as adiZones. Because of course they are.

Each adiZone is built to the same template, to "incorporate basketball, football and tennis areas, a climbing wall, an outdoor gym and an open area to encourage dance, aerobics and gymnastics".

They were initially installed in the five "Host Boroughs". Those of Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Newham are shown above. In addition, adiZones also opened in Langthorne Park (Waltham Forest) and Mabley Green (Hackney).

An Olympic 2012 logo on tarmac from above
Langthorne Park, looking a bit worse for wear
Mabley Green, Hackney

The corporate cordwainers didn't stop there, though. 36 additional adiZones later appeared across the country, including several more in London. Examples include Chadwell Heath, Ponders End, Richmond and Uxbridge.

An adiZone in Gravesend. Image by Ben Sutherland under creative commons licence

Some might say that this a clever way of getting corporate cash to promote healthy living (£150,000 per gym... though half of that comes from the public purse, as do maintenance costs). Others might view it as aggressive commercialisation of public space. One thing we can all agree on, though... it still looks like Lisa Simpson doing you know what.

Images cropped from Google Earth.