SBD/May 8, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Mother's Day Comes Early: P&G Giving Visa Gift Cards To Moms Of Each U.S. Olympian

Wieber (r) and her mother announced the P&G deal on NBC's "Today" this morning
Proctor & Gamble today announced it will give a $1,000 Visa card to each mother of approximately 800 U.S. Olympic athletes to help the defray the costs of their travel to the London Games. The $800,000 gift is part of the “Thank You, Mom” campaign that P&G launched worldwide last month. The company brought more than a dozen Olympic hopefuls and their mothers to N.Y. today to announce the gift and the company’s plan to offer a hospitality center for Team USA family members in London called the "P&G Family Home." P&G VP/North American Operations & Marketing Jodi Allen said, “We asked the U.S. Olympic Committee, ‘What’s the best way to thank moms?’ They said, ‘Help send them to London.’ That’s what we’re doing.” Both the $1,000 gifts and hospitality center build on what P&G did for moms as a USOC sponsor during the '10 Vancouver Games, when the company helped defray the costs of traveling to Vancouver for the mothers of some 300 U.S. Olympians and developed a "P&G Family Home" where they could watch the Olympics, eat meals and relax. With 800 Summer Olympians, the number of Team USA mothers in London is far greater than the number P&G supported in '10. The company also signed a worldwide Olympic sponsorship with the IOC since '10, and it is providing support to an additional 300 mothers of Olympic athletes worldwide, bringing its total support to at least 1,100 moms. Allen said that the company saw a good return on its Vancouver investment. The move helped improve consumer perception of P&G and its brands, and she said that was a major reason it opted to expand the program in '12. Allen: “We’ve never done anything of this magnitude in terms of reaching that number of moms” (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

MOM KNOWS BEST: Gold medal-winning U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber, along with several other Olympic hopefuls, were joined by their mothers this morning on NBC’s “Today” show for the formal announcement of P&G’s gifts and hospitality center. An Olympic-themed ad from P&G was shown, with NBC's Matt Lauer saying the ad is “thanking moms for the work they do for Olympic hopefuls. Wieber said her mother and her family “have made so many sacrifices just so that I can follow my dreams and reach my goals.” Lochte noted the mothers of athletes play a “big part” in their success. Ileana Lochte, Ryan’s mother, was tearing up when Ryan was talking about her and Lauer said, “You’re crying already. Imagine what’s going to happen in London. How are you going to survive?” Ileana replied, “I hide. Nobody ever sees me” (“Today,” NBC, 5/8).
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