Olympic efforts

Mark Ritson’s latest column reignited the debate over the value of Olympic sponsorship, the lack of creativity displayed in some of the associated campaigns and the appropriateness of some of the key partners of London 2012. Read the original column here and see comment extracts below.

I would like to raise three points with you, Mark. First, while many of the London 2012 sponsors’ campaigns are generic, there are just as many that are breaking new Olympic ground. Take a look at BMW, Coca-Cola, Lloyds, Procter & Gamble and UPS to name just five.

Second, you claim that aided recall represents the tip of the business case for an Olympic sponsorship. Do you really think London 2012 sponsors are doing it to boost awareness? Especially when no sponsor branding is allowed around the Olympic arenas?

Finally, the sponsors are not targeting the same people at the same time. Look at the huge differences between the target audiences of the consumer brand and business-to-business brand sponsors. Then consider within the former group the disparity between the audiences of, for example, BMW, Coke and P&G.
Tim Crow

Mark Ritson replies…
Excellent points Tim, but I must (of course) rebut them all:

1. Put your hand over the logo on the Olympic ads from Lloyds, BBC, McDonald’s and BP and I’ll bet most consumers would not have a clue who made what.
2. I agree most of these brands are not paying millions to drive awareness but that’s not what I said or what was measured in the Opinium research I cited. The metric is awareness of being a sponsor. If most consumers don’t even know you are sponsoring the Olympics or your non-sponsor competitors are scoring higher than you, then surely all other broader brand building and business goals are moot.
3. With the exception of B2B and B2C, how is it going to be possible to do targeted approaches with the Olympics being watched by everyone?

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