Olympic sponsors have little to fear

Last week I posted a blog on LOCOG bending backwards to ensure London 2012 Olympic Game sponsors are  respected, by being exclusive within the stadium and the surrounding areas.

Now big sponsor and global manufacturer Proctor & Gamble – the makers of Head & Shoulders, Pringles and Max Factor – has declared three reasons for investing in this international sporting event:

1) To build business (£325m worth in actual fact)

2) To launch the business as a corporate brand, alongside its products

3) To use the Olympics to boost communications within its workforce, UK and the world

This is no mean feat. But they’ve judged this partnership well, with the company already benefitting from sales acceleration from the end of last year, triumphing in profits and reputation. Although, not everyone has been as fortunate, with brands like McDonald’s even shying away from extra marketing and LOCOG coming to their rescue to protect its name.

More than ‘respect’, it seems that brands also benefit from an internal Olympics crisis management team that will run to their defence when consumers pick a dent in their armour. Not because LOCOG particularly cares, but to protect the Games’ image.

I agree that McDonald’s, for example, isn’t a natural sponsor for a global sporting event – a place where people are expecting to have health and nutrition values at its core. But, hosting the Games is more than just food and drink. It’s about an all-round fantastic experience – for athletes and spectators. McDonald’s is an expert in delivering a quick, efficient service and has the experience of training the Games Makers and others involved to put on ‘the greatest show on earth’. And, come the end of July, this is what we will see.

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