Sponsors warm up for Winter Olympic Games

Sochi 2014 sponsors Procter & Gamble (P&G), Visa and Samsung are activating the main phases of their activation campaigns to celebrate the opening of the Winter Games.

Video: P&G Raising an Olympian: Mikaela Shiffrin


The Opening Ceremony takes place today (7 February) to launch what is expected to be the most expensive Olympic Games ever, with commercial earnings predicted to be around half a trillion dollars.

Excitement for the event has been hampered by terrorism fears and concerns over Russia’s infrastructure. Additionally, gay rights activists have targeted sponsors across the world for failing to speak out over the country’s controversial laws which prevent the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors. Despite the negative buzz, brands have pressed on with their sponsorship campaigns in recent weeks and are now switching to more high-impact techniques to make their associations with the tournament more vocal.

P&G is pushing videos for its “Pick Them Back Up” campaign, the sequel to its “Thank You Mum” London 2012 effort, across all its social media channels. The FMCG business has been seeding short teaser films so far this year featuring athletes such as Skeleton Bobsledder Shelley Rudman and her mother in the hope of driving shares around its Winter Olympic content.

The company expects to generate “between a third and a half” of the $500m (£304.7m) sales lift it got from the Summer Games

Video: Visa Olympics Commercial Sarah Hendrickson “Flying”


Visa is using the tournament’s opening to introduce its new “Everywhere you want to be” global positioning – an update of its old “It’s everywhere you want to be” US strapline. A TV spot starring US Olympic ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson and legendary aviator Amelia Earhart leads the campaign, drawing on the parallels of flight between the two. It is narrated by Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman and is being supported by quirky Vine videos.

Meanwhile, Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Studio, its flagship showroom in Sochi. Visitors to the hub will be able to cheer athletes through its ChatOn app as well as participate in a range of activities. For the most part however, it will be used to advertise the latest products from its Galaxy range. Russian tennis star and Samsung brand ambassador Maria Sharapova is fronting the marketing push.

Samsung has also sent a “Galaxy Team” of 80 athletes around the world to capture and share content on its devices around the event, and has also flown student bloggers out to Sochi.

The burst of activity comes amid attempts from non-sponsors to exploit ongoing concerns from activists that sponsors have not done enough to make a stand against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Both Google and Channel 4 (see below) have launched campaigns in support of homosexuality, while Team USA sponsor AT&T slammed the country’s “harmful” law on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) earlier this week ( 4 February).

Video: Channel 4 Gay Mountain ad

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