It's just 25 days to the London Olympics! With Olympic themed promotional jobs coming in thick and fast it got me thinking about the impact a huge sporting event such as the Olympics has for brands. Sponsors spend millions; other brands equally spend a lot of money on linking their brand with the Olympics. They spend a lot of time, money and effort promoting their brands and products alongside the huge worldwide sporting event, but is it worth the spend?
Diageo turned down sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics. Chief Marketing Officer Andy Fennell speaking at Cannes Lion Festival said that 'It's really hard to get a return' in response to why they'd declined and that he thought brands sponsored events mostly due to '....board level corporate conviction...'
Different brands will sponsor the Olympics for different reasons and it's not always easy to measure the ROI. For some it's about reinforcing their existing presence as a top global brand, such as Coca-Cola, others are looking to increase brand awareness globally and increase sales ...but mostly it's about reaching one of the largest audiences. It is said that the Olympics will be the most watched event of the year and that is always going to be hard to resist for many brand marketers. With a well thought out marketing strategy promoting products and brands before, during, and after the Olympics it can have a real feel-good positive impact on brands. Coca-Cola has a huge amount of adverts going out with sporting icons and music artists such as Mark Ronson, Labrynth, Katy B, and Eliza Dolittle with their 'Move to the Beat London' campaign.
Adidas are pushing their sports as well as leisure wear sales with younger audiences with their ad featuring music by Wretch 32 and footballer David Beckham.
With McDonalds having built the largest restaurant in the world on the Olympic park their sponsorship goes a step further in my opinion. It's half the size of a football pitch, seating 1500 people and will be staffed by 2,000 employees. It is estimated that they will sell 50,000 Big Mac's over the games! This along with a coordinated campaign in all of their restaurants really goes hand in hand with the new green healthier style image they are moving towards.
It's advertising Gold for sponsors such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola as far as I can see, no matter how hard it is to measure their ROI with this kind of sponsorship. It shows the world they are top of their game, right out in front and silver or bronze just won't do.