SBD/Issue 219/Olympics

Beijing Games Could Spark Largest Ad, Marketing Campaign

Sponsors of the Beijing Games are "launching possibly the largest advertising and marketing campaign ever," according to Kirby Chien of REUTERS. Beijing-based media consultancy R3 Principal Greg Paull: "On a global scale, I don't think you are going to get this kind of investment again." R3 indicated that advertisers in China will "spend 19[%] more in 2008 than a year earlier to about $54.3[B], for an 'Olympic effect' of about $8.6[B] in additional spending." In addition, Paull noted that Olympic sponsors will spend $3.2B this year, up 52% from '07 (REUTERS, 8/3).

Nike Plans To Have Opened 4,000
Retail Stores In China By Year's End
RACE AFTER THE FINISH: In Portland, Brent Hunsberger reported on the Olympic-related marketing efforts of Nike and adidas. adidas by the end of '08 "plans to have opened 5,000 retail stores in China," while Nike is planning 4,000, and the companies combined will see sales in China "exceed $2[B] this year for the first time." Both companies have "created dozens of sport-specific shoe styles for athletes at the games -- more than in any previous Olympics," and for the first time, the companies are "putting the shoes immediately on sale to the public." Shanghai-based Zou Marketing Managing Dir Terry Rhoades, who previously worked for Nike, said, "They're both in this amazing battle. They're really going at each other. They're both sort of flying so high above the other brands." Former execs said that Nike and adidas after the Games will "employ consultants such as The Nielsen Co. to measure their brands' image, strength, consumer recall and impression of ads." Experts said that Nike and adidas each will "measure consumer's intent to purchase a brand's products, comparing those with pre-event surveys." Overall, adidas sponsors 3,000 athletes, 16 national committees and 214 country sport federations, while Nike has said that it "sponsors thousands of individual athletes worldwide and dozens of national committees and teams" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/3). A student in Beijing said, "Among the 28 students in my class at college, only five did not have Nike or Adidas shoes." XINHUA's Sun Yuniong noted although young people "liked international brands, older Chinese people still prefer domestic brands for their cheap prices" (XINHUA, 8/3).

PUMA KING: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Vanessa Friedman reported Puma this week in Beijing is "celebrating the debut of its inaugural 'It Bag,' the first such attempt to penetrate the trend-driven handbag market on the part of a sportswear company." The bag's name is part of Puma's larger "Runway collection," whose name refers to both its "appearance in a catwalk fashion show and Puma's sponsorship of 10 different track and field teams," including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz: "We felt it was time we had an It bag." Friedman noted "accessories are among Puma's fastest growing product categories." Zeitz: "Chinese consumers have been focused on the performance aspect in the past but now they are definitely looking at fashion. Sponsorship in the Olympics does not push significant sales because there are so many different sports involved and you can't be everywhere, but the fashion focus on athletes gives you visibility because it is such a major event for China" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/2).

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NOTES: USA TODAY's Petrecca, Horovitz & Howard reviews IOC TOP sponsor Johnson & Johnson's "Thanks, Mom" Olympic campaign and notes the heart-tugging ads show athletes sharing "unscripted stories about how their moms helped shape their lives." The company "have taken the tears out of baby shampoo -- but it put them into" the ads (USA TODAY, 8/4)....A new NBC Universal promo for the theatrical release of  "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" ties in scenes of the movie with the Beijing Games. The film is set in China, and Dartmouth Univ. Tuck School of Business professor Kevin Lane Keller said, "They really are trying to weave this parallel story with China and the Olympics and this film, and it doesn't really flow together very well." In N.Y., Stephanie Clifford reports Universal moved the film's scheduled mid-July opening to last Friday "to try to get a lift from the Olympics." Meanwhile, the ads have been running since July 1 on NBC nets, in Universal theme parks and in N.Y. taxicabs (N.Y. TIMES, 8/4).

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