‘Sponsors have changed the face of East London’

Lord Seb Coe has hit back at those who have criticised Locog’s stringent rules to protect sponsors, claiming the money from the likes of Coca-Cola and Samsung have raised has “changed the face of East London.”

Seb Coe

With just a little more than a month to go until the opening of the 2012 London Games, attention is increasingly turning to what many industry experts consider to be the most stringent restrictions ever put in place to protect Olympic sponsors’ exclusive rights.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Lord Coe insists that the protection measures, which include branding police to crack down on guerrilla marketing stunts and a deal with Twitter to prevent non-sponsors from buying promoted ads on Games-related tags such as #London2012, has helped change the area around East London in a way that “Politicians wouldn’t have done.”

He adds: “We’ve raised £700m in a very difficult market. I don’t believe those companies would have come to the table had we not been able to demonstrate that we would protect them and create an environment where they felt protected.

“Sport has changed the face of east London. Politicians wouldn’t have done that had sport not been the catalyst.”

Coe also argued that there was “no evidence” that there would be in surge of ambush marketing this summer, despite concerns that non-sponsors will flock to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to be associated with the sporting event, adding that Locog had “created the safest for sponsors.”

“You can’t ask [sponsors] to make that kind of commitment to a six or seven year project and then leave them to the chancers who want to come in at the last minute and try and pretend they’ve been involved with the project.”

Earlier this month, Olympic organisers were accused of letting the Torch Relay become overtaken by sponsors such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Samsung.

Coe dismissed suggestions that the sporting event was becoming over commercialised and says that people fail to gasp that sponsorship is “absolutely essentially” to funding the Games.
He adds: “It’s very easy and slightly lazy to say the games have been over commercialised. Sport is now functioning in communities in a way that it has never functioned before.

“It’s not just simply about Chelsea vs Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on a Sunday afternoon, it’s not just about competition. It’s about legacy projects, it’s about using sport to change the lives of young people.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here