Tag Archives: McDonald’s

The end of the London 2012 Olympics

12 Aug

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All good things come to an end – and, after what can only be described as a ‘fantastic fortnight of sport’, the London 2012 Olympics has concluded.

My GamesMaker journey started two years ago with a simple application, followed by an interview, training sessions and eventually uniform and accreditation collection. Based at the ExCeL inside the judo and wrestling arenas, I’ve distributed start times and schedules to the world’s press, ensured they had everything they needed and assisted with press conferences for Team GB’s own Gemma Gibbons (judo) and USA’s Jordan Burroughs (wrestling). Needless to say I’ve enjoyed every minute.

It’s been a great experience with lots of perks on top of being part of this unforgettable experience and witnessing great sports first hand. The Olympic sponsors have looked after the GamesMakers to no end – with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Nature Valley coming out on top.

Biting off more than I can chew?

In my two weeks at the ExCeL I’ve not eaten or even sniffed a Big Mac. Why? Quite simply, there isn’t one at the venue. Instead I’ve enjoyed a range of balanced meals: shepherd’s pie, chicken chasseur and stir-fry to name a few. This worldwide partner is giving me much more – a bite out of its new online customer service qualification. (I’ll update on this early September once available.)

In addition to this, as a ‘thank you’ for our work, we’ve been rewarded with theatre ticket discounts.

Fanta-stic fluids

I’ve developed a penchant for a daily dose of Fanta (a drink I previously reserved for holidays). Produced by Coca-Cola, GamesMakers had a wide range of drinks to choose from when off duty.

Back to nature

Nature Valley had a much bigger presence than Cadbury’s. The official cereal bar supplier to the Olympic Games, after two weeks I’ve become programmed to enjoy a pack at least once a day.

But treats come and go, the two greatest memories from the Games are in the form of my uniform and the ‘thank you’ gift I was presented with this afternoon – a unique GamesMaker replica relay baton.

It signifies trust – something we all put in each other to do a great job as part of our teams. It’ll be special to me, always. But not everyone is as sentimental. You can probably pick up one from eBay. Top price is £150.

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Oddbins rebels against the Olympics

24 Jul

Just three days before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, wine merchant Oddbins has launched a rebellion campaign against the Games’ top tier sponsors.

The company, which has 35 stores throughout the country, is planning a counter-strike over the next three weeks – accompanied by campaign posters making consumers feel at home by wearing their ‘outlawed Olympics attire’. Essentially, all Nike wearing and Vauxhall driving, MasterCard holders will be welcomed in store with a 30 per cent off discount.

Oddbins’ managing director Ayo Akintola has fiercely stated that non sponsors, in the run up to the Games, have been treated like “beggars on the gilded streets of the Olympic movement”. However, he quite rightly mentions that he’s expecting some backlash from LOCOG as a result of the campaign, which last week published rules that no one may link to the London 2012 site in a “false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner.”

In response to Akintola’s rant, time will tell whether small businesses and non-sponsors profit during the Olympic Games. But, with an influx of visitors preparing to descend upon London, there’s an opportunity for everyone to seize. But, the question is – would consumers rather engage with a brand that is for or against the very reason they’re here?

Yes – the Olympics is going to cause disruption and the Olympics’ heavy-handed brand police have made headlines for the wrong reasons lately. But, as organisers have said time and time again, sponsorship is what allows the Games to take place. Let’s hope we look back at the Games as a highlight of the decade and beyond. Brands that take this approach will be better off than those that look the other way.

Selection of Olympic sponsors

Worldwide Olympic Partners: Coca-ColaMcDonald’s, P&G, UPS, Samsung, Panasonic, Dow, Atos, Omega, Acer, GE and Visa

London 2012 Partners: Lloyds TSB, EDF, Adidas, BT, BA, BP and BMW

Non sponsors include: Barclays, Nike, E.on, Virgin, HSBC, Canon and Carlsberg

Serena lets the alligator out of the bag

9 Jul

Five-times Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams has instilled fear into LOCOG and its sponsors by doing the one thing at Wimbledon that it can’t control at the forthcoming Olympics Games – bringing non sponsored brands into the stadiums.

Serena ignored the All England Lawn Tennis Club rules throughout the two-week tournament – that clearly stated that players are forbidden from showing non-sponsor drink brands within the ground during the competition – by bringing a Gatorade bottle to her post-match press conference on Saturday night. Fortunately, TV producers were able to edit it out of the picture and the pesky drink wasn’t given any airtime. But, is this her problem? Not really. Does she care? Unlikely. If anything, she’s given the brand more attention by breaking the rules.

To you and I this not something to make a fuss about. And frankly, no one would have noticed if the press hadn’t started shouting about it. Yet, event organisers continue to offer sports sponsors exclusive brand presence which cannot be guaranteed.

Some brands that don’t enter into official event sponsorship packages have tried to get their exposure by going through the stadiums’ back doors and taking ownership of the athletes themselves. Sports personalities like Serena Williams (Gatorade), David Beckham (Adidas) and Jessica Ennis (Powerade) all have brands fighting over them, and with so many rules and regulations it’s becoming difficult for their teams to work out what props are suitable and when.

London 2012 organisers will need to do everything they can to keep sponsors happy. Especially after recent research by Marketing magazine shows that re-call rates for companies assoiciated with the Olympic Games are disappointingly low – some consumers even assume that non sponsors Nike, Virgin and energy suppier E.On are all involved. Of the people asked, it was worldwide Olympic partners Coca-Cola and McDonald’s that came out on top, with Lloyds, Visa and EDF completing the top five. However, the top two have been criticised in the press recently, detracting from their association success.

A few weeks ago I blogged that Olympic sponsorship guarantees brands talkability inside and outside the stadium, regardless of exclusivity or not. It shouldn’t matter if some slip through the net. It’s not the branding people will be watching the Games for, it’s the sport (naturally). Even with the organisers playing by the book, the players (like Serena) may disregard the rules because it’s not on their mind or their trainers – and nor should it be.

With 48 medals on team GB’s target list, they’ll need to focus on their performance, not petty branding regulations.

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