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Olympic Sponsors

Olympics Sponsors Are Getting More (and Less) Than Bargained For

July 27th, 2016   ||    by Melanie Brown

The Olympics are just around the corner, and along with the games, viewers will once again be surrounded by the ads and events of Olympics sponsors. During its time, the 2012 Olympic games were the most watched television event in history, and the most watched Olympic games in over thirty years, notes the Huffington Post.

Changing Trends

Since 2012, the way we watch television has changed a lot. The rise of DVR, video on demand, streaming services, and other kinds of over the top programming available at our fingertips has made appointment TV a rarity. Gone are the days of gathering around the television at a certain time, to avoid missing a second of your favorite show.

Live sports have been something of an exception to the shifting landscape of TV, but the Olympics have largely embraced all channels of viewership.

With cord cutting at an all-time high, television viewers are no longer just watching the television, so advertisers are starting to broaden their ad buys. The same goes for Olympics sponsors. The Olympics stream online, on mobile, and on connected TV apps, in addition to broadcast TV, and sponsors are able to take advantage of viewership on all those channels.

Varying Strategies

With an event of this scale, the value of a sponsorship is high, but with the addition of all the extra modes of exposure, an Olympic sponsorship’s value is skyrocketing this year. An omnichannel marketing strategy is a must have for any advertiser, notes Inc., and Olympic sponsors have the benefit of both online and offline venues built into the deal.

Take Coca-Cola, for example. The brand has been an Olympic sponsor since 1928, and this year their sponsorship program includes not only ads, signage, and events during the games, but also sponsorship of the torch relay, and commemorative cans featuring athletes from all over the world.

Worldwide, Coke is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Every element of their logo—the lettering, the silhouette of the bottle, and even their particular shade of red—is identifiable on its own. The brand doesn’t need to advertise, but an Olympic sponsorship adds to its prestige as a brand. The same goes for longtime sponsors Visa, McDonald’s, and P&G.

Multiple Sponsors

Sponsoring the games is often reserved for the advertising elite, but the visibility of the Olympics isn’t limited to official sponsors. Various smaller brands that aren’t sponsoring the games will undoubtedly see a bump in their recognizability and caché.

According to Adweek, certain advertising rules prohibit reference to the games, the Olympic logo and rings, and even what we’d generally consider to be generic terms like “gold” or “2016.” However, smaller brands with more limited funds are getting creative to find loopholes and “brandjacking” the games without being official sponsors.

In 2012, Nike, Volkswagen, and DishTV were all participants in creative that got creative, and this year is sure to see more of the same. Every brand is aiming to ride the wave of an Olympic sponsorship and get as much bang for their buck as possible.

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