SBD/April 25, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Olympic Athletes In Marketing Spotlight As Brands Prep For London Games

Ewing will be featured on soda cans starting May 15
Some of America’s biggest brands are “already marketing their best hopes for late-summer sales heroics: Olympic athletes,” and those athletes' faces are “showing up on soft-drink cans, cereal boxes and battery packs,” according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. Most marketers said that it is “fine to tout sponsorships since they passed the 100-days-before-the-games mark last week.” One example of early Olympic marketing includes Kellogg’s Corn Flakes featuring Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer Summer Sanders on boxes since mid-March. Kellogg’s Senior VP/Marketing & Innovation Doug VanDeVelde said that “eight more athletes will be featured.” Horovitz notes another campaign includes five members of the ’92 U.S. men’s basketball team -- Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and David Robinson -- to be “featured on Sunkist, 7Up, A&W and Canada Dry cans beginning May 15” (USA TODAY, 4/25).

CASHING IN: The REGISTER’s Kelly Fiveash reports Virgin Media spent US$84.8M “on marketing costs in the telco's first quarter" which ended March 31. The company ran “TV, print, online and billboard ads featuring” Gold Medal-winning sprinter Usain Bolt and Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson. Virgin Media said that the extra publicity spend “paid off with the ISP adding the most quarterly net customers in two years” (, 4/25).
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