SBD/July 27, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

One Year From London: LOCOG Close To Fulfilling Its Sponsorship Target

London Mayor Boris Johnson talks about Olympics at Aquatics Center
LOCOG officials are “just weeks away” from meeting their US$1.15B sponsorship target, ending a “five-year funding and procurement programme that has weathered Britain’s worst recession in decades,” according to Vanessa Kortekaas of the FINANCIAL TIMES. LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said the organization was “single digit millions” away from its goal. He said that after finalizing “a few remaining sponsorship agreements it will ‘close down’ the programme.” LOCOG has “41 domestic sponsors (including two Paralympics-only sponsors) -- and 11 worldwide tier one partners.” Deighton said the number of sponsors is “pretty consistent with what our initial expectation was.” Before the global economic crisis, the organizing committee “signed a handful of big deals,” including a US$131M agreement with Lloyds TSB in ‘07. Deighton said that the banking sector "had always been LOCOG’s top sponsorship priority.” Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Partner Tim Jones, whose firm is the official legal services provider of the '12 Games, said that the company operates in a "''crowded, competitive marketplace' and partnering with the Olympics was an opportunity to differentiate.” Jones added the firm was "keen to have a role" at the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/25).

NAME RECOGNITION: MARKETING magazine’s John Reynolds cited OnePoll research that showed that Lloyds is the “top-tier Olympic sponsor most associated" with the London Games, while Olympic campaigns by telecommunications provider BT, British Airways and BP "are failing to resonate with customers.” With one year to go until the Games, members of the British public were asked “which sponsors they most associate with London 2012" and were given a list of sponsors from which to choose. Lloyds “garnered 17.5% of the Tier One sponsors' vote, ahead of EDF Energy with 16.4%.” However, respondents “were dismissive of other top-tier sponsors, such as BMW, which accrued just 1.5% of the vote, BP (5%), BA (5.6%) and BT (3.9%)” (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/26). Meanwhile, British Airways was scheduled to fly an Airbus A318 “over the Olympic Park today at 1pm to mark the countdown.” The plane has “the ‘one year to go’ slogan inscribed on its belly” (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 7/27).

PROTECTING THE BRAND: MARKETING WEEK’s Branwell Johnson noted LOCOG officials “policed an easyJet event” featuring British Gold Medal-winning hurdler Sally Gunnell “to prevent any ambush marketing and abuse of the Olympic brand and associated imagery.” EasyJet “set up a photo shoot with Gunnell earlier this week to support the announcement of flights from London Southend airport next April.” An easyJet spokesperson said that the company and LOCOG “discussed various activities planned by the budget airline featuring Gunnell ahead of the event and some were changed” (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 7/26).

PUTTING A STAMP ON IT: Britain’s Royal Mail last Friday released a set of 10 stamps “marking the one-year countdown” to the London Games. The stamps are titled “Get Ready for 2012” and will go on sale today. The stamps “feature depictions of classic Olympic sports such as field athletics and gymnastics as well as more recent additions to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including triathlon, handball and wheelchair rugby” (AFP, 7/26).
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