SBD/April 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Ad Space For '12 London Games Hits The Market Today For Olympic Sponsors

About 4,000 packages of outdoor ad space will be available in the auction
LOCOG organizers today are beginning a US$403M “eBay-style online auction of outdoor advertising space as Olympic sponsors including Coca Cola, McDonalds and Adidas begin bidding for prime sites across the UK” for the '12 London Games, according to Mark Sweney of the GUARDIAN. Olympic organizers are “thought to be the first in the history of the Olympics to attempt to sell advertising space for a Games by online auction.” Sponsors and their agencies will be “hunched over keyboards across the globe” today to “secure the pick of some of the most sought after outdoor advertising sites in the UK.” About “4,000 packages of advertising will be up for sponsors and partners to buy -- covering everything from billboards and posters right next to event sites to what is termed as ‘spectaculars’ such as the Imax theatre on the Southbank as well as the London Underground." The auction will last until July 1. Sources indicated that up to US$161.4M in ad space “will go under the hammer during the auction period, with the unsold inventory then being put on sale to advertisers who are not Olympic partners.” For the first two weeks “only the 18 worldwide, tier one sponsors are being allowed to bid -- brands such as Coca-Cola, BP, Samsung, Lloyds TSB, BMW and Visa.” The “first lots on the block are prime ‘vicinity’ sites right by Olympic venues.” Tier two and tier three sponsors “will be allowed to participate after the third week, which will bring the total number of bidders to more than 40.” LOCOG Commercial Dir Chris Townsend said that “the ‘vast majority’ of what will be available to buy online will be ‘premium’ packages at a fixed price” (GUARDIAN, 4/4).
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