Lloyds TSB marketer defends ‘overpriced’ Olympics deal

Lloyds 2012

Lloyds TSB chief marketer Nigel Gilbert has hit out at critics who say the bank has overpaid for its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic Games, claiming it will make money from the deal.

Critics have questioned the value of the partnership, which is believed to be worth between £50m and £80m, but Gilbert, the bank’s group marketing director says: “Make no mistake: we will make money out of this.”

He adds that the bank wants others to profit as well and says it also sees the sponsorship as its duty to the nation.

Several sports marketing analysts say the tier one deals being offered by the London 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) in the top eight partnership categories are overpriced.

The Olympics is a “clean” event with no corporate branding at any of the venues. It is claimed that any activation campaign to leverage a company’s “association” will cost at least the same amount as that spent on acquiring the sponsorship.

But Gilbert says: “We have made a sensible commercial decision. People were not sure that we should do it. It is a big investment, a big deal.”

Gilbert distanced himself from the debate around funding the Games in Stratford, saying the partnership is about the Olympic ideal. Critics have slated the Government for trebling the cost of the Games and raising the amount of National Lottery cash needed to fund it.

LOCOG commercial director Chris Townsend last week denied suggestions the Olympics could become a marketing disaster on the scale of the Millennium Dome. He has been tasked with raising £2bn to host the Games, with £750m of that coming from sponsorship deals.

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