SBD/August 2, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

London Olympic Sponsors Wait To Activate In The U.S. Closer To Games

Most '12 London Games sponsors “are sticking to their traditional marketing timetable and waiting until 2012 to activate in the U.S.,” according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Eight of 21 USOC and IOC partners contacted “had launched limited activation programs in the U.S. as of last week,” which marked the one-year countdown to the Games. Most sponsorship execs said that they “preferred to wait until the first or second quarter of 2012, when the 2012 London Games will be more top of mind.” Several sponsors “have limited their marketing to overseas promotions." The USOC “has been encouraging its partners to promote the Olympics earlier.” Mickle notes social media is “the platform of choice for sponsors who have begun activating in the U.S.,” and BMW, 24 Hour Fitness and Budweiser “have all incorporated Facebook and Twitter into their promotions.” 24 Hour Fitness CMO Tony Wells said, “Social media is going to have a much more dramatic impact on our activation. We did not do a Facebook execution for Beijing, but we’re planning to do a lot of social around 2012.” Mickle notes BMW, the USOC’s new auto partner, has “launched one of the most robust campaigns.” The auto manufacturer “has had 276 dealerships participating in a Drive for Team USA program that sees the company donate $10 to the USOC for every test drive taken at a dealership through Aug. 13” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/1 issue).

THAT'S (ALMOST) A WRAP: Olympic Delivery Authority Chair John Armitt said that LOCOG officials “have secured a sponsor to fund the fabric wrap for the 80,000-seat Olympic stadium and it will be added within the next six months.” Armitt: "It is going ahead. LOCOG have got a sponsor. They haven't announced it yet but they have got one." Armitt said that “the sponsorship was in the ‘single figure millions’ and the wrap could be easily installed.” LOCOG is “expected to announce the sponsor within weeks” (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 8/2).

THE JOY OF COLA: One-Poll research shows that Coca-Cola is the “most-recognised” of the 11 IOC TOP sponsors for the London Games. The soft-drink brand was cited “as the worldwide partner that consumers most associate with the Olympics by 37% of 2,000 people surveyed.” McDonald’s ranked second in the survey and Visa ranked third (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/2).
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