Respect doesn’t come for free

28 May

Have you noticed that every London 2012 Olympic sponsor is changing tact and introducing a subtle sporting theme to their adverts to get their money’s worth? An athlete here, an official logo there. But, as a London 2012 spokesman has said, without them “the Games simply wouldn’t happen.”

Private sponsorship has been synonymous with the Olympics for the past 100 years – but it hadn’t warmed up until 1984 when the Games were hosted by Los Angeles – which decided to stage the Games without public funding (as cited in The Week – 5 May 2012).

With sponsors, such as McDonald’s, British Airways, BP and Cadbury’s, contributing one third of LOCOG‘s £2bn running costs, it’s no wonder that the organisation is doing all it can to ensure their sponsorship packages are protected from ‘ambush’ marketing.

To prevent brands getting any bright ideas about buying up prominent billboard spaces in London during the Games, LOCOG has rented 99% of them close to its venues. But, with high-profile sites capitalising on bidding wars to secure high prices, out of home advertising could be up 10-20% during the Olympics (according to Mathew Dearden, chief executive of Clear Channel UK as cited in today’s Media Guardian). So, how much money has been spent on respecting the sponsors?

Being part of the Games and bearing the logo means you will get talked about. Period. Such levels of exclusivity shouldn’t impact on what consumers think about your brand. The sponsors listed above are already major players in their various sectors and industries, and it’ll take more than an association with the largest global sporting event for consumers to change they way it feels about them.

What are your thoughts? Is it only fair that sponsors are treated with ‘respect’?

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3 Responses to “Respect doesn’t come for free”

  1. Chris May 29, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    “Being part of the Games and bearing the logo means you will get talked about. Period.”

    Yes. People will talk about boycotting you and changing to brands which don’t share the blame for this grotesquely expensive farce and the programme of destruction of human rights that goes with it.

  2. Emma Little May 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I appreciate that the Olympic sponsors are big brands with lots of money etc, but I can’t help think that such an event which promotes fitness, health and vitality should surely be sponsored by companies and brands which share the same morals. Would we see Jenifer Ellison biting into a Big Mac? Probably not. It’s a shame that such a postive and healthy event is plastered with unhealthy logos and products.

    • primetimeblog May 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      (Ed – surely GB athlete Jessica Ennis, not former soap star Ellison.)

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