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SBD/August 3, 2012/OlympicsPrint All
In addition to the aggregated content in SBD, please visit our daily website produced by SBD/SBJ devoted to the London Olympics. Read from our reporters on the ground, Tripp Mickle and John Ourand, as well as other contributors, about the latest news from the Games, including for today how U.S. gymnastics' success will boost post-Olympic tour ticket sales, Speedo using London Games to help reinvent brand and a discussion on what sponsor made the biggest impact in London.
Douglas' Corn Flakes box will
hit shelves this fall
WIDE POTENTIAL AS PRODUCT ENDORSER: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Fowler, Woo & Orwall report Douglas not only became the third consecutive U.S. gymnast to win the all-around Gold Medal but the first African-American to do so, and that distinction "may help broaden her appeal as she morphs from Olympic hopeful to commercial pitchwoman." The three previous U.S. winners of that event -- Mary Lou Retton in '84, Carly Patterson in '04 and Nastia Liukin in '08 -- have a "history of corporate pitching." However, Douglas' "winning smile and confidence sets her apart from some past champions who had gym chops but not charisma." Douglas said that she is "prepared ... for any endorsements that may come." She added that her manager "had given her 'a little scoop' -- but when pressed, she said, 'That's between me and them.'" Fowler, Woo & Orwall note Douglas' youth "gives her time to pile on more achievements -- possibly a world championship next year, and even" the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games. IMG Senior VP & Managing Dir David Abrutyn estimated that Douglas "could be looking at $5 million to $10 million in various corporate deals and endorsements over the next few years" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3). Former U.S. gymnast Dominique Dawes stated Douglas “can expect endorsement deals to begin pouring in.” Dawes: “She’s going to start quickly recognizing that she’s a business, she’s a brand and she should be very selective in the people she surrounds herself with and the opportunities she decides to take” ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 8/3). Consulting Group Founder Dan Migala "does not believe that the possibility that Douglas will not compete in the 2016 Olympics will limit her endorsement opportunities" (FORBES.com, 8/3).
AMERICA'S NEW SWEETHEART: YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg noted some sports marketing experts "believe Douglas could be even more appealing to corporate America than some of her predecessors because of her disarming smile, fun-loving personality and unique back story." Baker Street Advertising Exec VP & Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said that he expects Douglas to earn $1-3M "between the end of London 2012 and the start of Rio 2016." Dorfman: "Whoever wins all-around gold becomes the darling of America. ... That's usually where one of the most marketable athletes from the Games emerges, especially with somebody like Gabby who's really cute, very young and certainly has the potential to compete again in Rio." Douglas gained 50,000 Twitter followers "before the broadcast of the all-around competition even aired on NBC." Marketing Arm Senior Account Manager Matt Fleming: "Outside of the swimming guys, Phelps and Lochte, she has separated herself from everyone else winning this" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/2). Media consultant Joe Favorito said, “America is looking for heroes. We went into this looking for Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, and we’re going to come out of it with a new gymnastics face, and that’s terrific” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 8/3). In Des Moines, Mark Emmert writes Douglas' "devil-may-care style and a joy that resonates all the way to the rafters stand to make her a bigger star, likely standing aside swimmer Michael Phelps as the face of these Games in America." Corporations will undoubtedly be calling Shade "with endorsement offers." Shade already has helped make '08 Beijing Games Gold Medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson "into a national brand." Douglas should be "just as easy to sell" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/3). In Las Vegas, Ed Graney writes a "triumph such as the one here will change her life forever." Madison Avenue "will call, and the fame and riches of an all-around gold will find Douglas soon enough." Graney: "Hello, Wheaties box" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/3). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, “She’s going to be the new Mary Lou Retton. She’s going to be the new Shannon Miller. ... She is going to be the toast of America, the queen of the Games. There’s no doubt about it” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/2).
I LOVE YOUR SMILE: The AP's Nancy Armour wrote Douglas is "poised to become the biggest star since Mary Lou Retton." That smile "alone is enough to make Madison Avenue swoon, and her personality might just be bigger than she is." While Douglas' skills on floor "are impressive ... it's her personality that makes it a show-stopper." The crowd was "clapping almost from the opening notes of her techno music" (AP, 8/2). In K.C., Sam Mellinger writes, "The face you're going to see everywhere now features a smile that can win over a crowd and an exuberance they might put on a Wheaties box" (K.C. STAR, 8/3). The AP's Will Graves writes Douglas "looks like she's having fun out there." She has "an energy that will make advertising executives swoon and likely turn her into a millionaire in the near future" (AP, 8/3).
MAKING A LEAP TO STARDOM: NBC News’ Chris Jansing said Douglas “really has that star quality." Jansing: "You can’t buy it, you can’t fake it, you can’t teach it” (“Nightly News,” NBC, 8/2). SI.com's Phil Taylor wrote, "Now she's Golden Gabby, international star, red-white-and-blue American icon and role model to millions, especially African-American girls." She is "Celebrity Gabby, sure to make the rounds of all the talk shows, certain to find herself in commercials and on billboards." Her only endorsement relationship "at the moment is with Procter & Gamble," but "that will change soon" (SI.com, 8/2). In Tampa, Gary Shelton asks, "Has any American gymnast ever had the potential to seed the dreams of more young gymnasts?" Shelton: "Say hello to Gabby Douglas. She is going to be a very, very big deal" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/3). In N.Y. Mike Vaccaro writes the London Games "will be Gabby Douglas' Games." She has "an engaging and infectious personality" (N.Y. POST, 8/3). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Matthew Engel writes, "A star was born: a 16-year-old American girl who now has the world at her very nimble feet" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/3).
LEAVING A LEGACY: USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside writes by becoming the first African-American to win the Olympic all-around Gold Medal, Douglas "is now a pioneer." She said, "Someone mentioned that I was the first black American (to win the all-around gold) and I said, 'Oh yeah, I forgot about that!' I feel so honored." Competing in a predominantly white sport, she said, "I hope that I inspire people. I want to inspire people. My mother said you can inspire a nation" (USA TODAY, 8/3). She added, “It’s so meaningful to be the first African-American to win the all-around Gold Medal in the individual. Making the history books is definitely one of the perks, and it just feels amazing” ("Today," NBC, 8/3). USA Today columnist Christine Brennan said, “It’s a great breakthrough win, not only for her but for those who look at the sport and see ... this lilywhite dominance of gymnastics. No more" ("NewsHour," PBS, 8/2). In Philadelphia, Phillip Lucas writes Douglas "turned into a role model for African-American youth who may not normally have considered gymnastics as an option" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/3). In Memphis, Geoff Calkins writes a "door had been opened, with some leaps and a smile." Calkins: "Can you imagine what Thursday meant to little girls of color? Someone who looked like them stood on the medal stand" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/3). ESPN's Jemele Hill said, "The Olympics are about winning, yes, but they’re all about moments too, and she gave us a moment that we won’t forget. ... We can’t underestimate what the racial importance is here” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/2). FOXSPORTS.com's Bill Reiter writes if Douglas "represents anything, it is that what we want to believe about the American Dream remains true" (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/3).
NBC is averaging a 19.3 final rating and 34.8 million viewers for six nights of primetime London Olympic coverage, up 10% and 13%, respectively, from the same period during Beijing in ’08. Each of the first six nights during London has seen an increase compared to the corresponding night in Beijing. Coverage on Wednesday night from 8:00-11:26pm ET finished with a 17.9 rating and 30.8 million viewers, up 7% and 11%, respectively, from a 16.7 rating and 27.7 million viewers in Beijing. Wednesday night’s coverage featured the U.S. winning two more swimming Gold Medals, as well as U.S. gymnast Dannel Leyva getting a Bronze Medal in the men’s all-around (NBC).PRIMETIME OLYMPIC RATINGSDayLondonBeijingAthensSydneyAtlanta
Opening CeremonyFri.21.018.814.616.223.6 Night 2Sat.15.813.911.813.117.2 Night 3Sun.19.818.115.414.622.9 Night 4Mon.18.017.616.613.822.9 Night 5Tues.21.820.018.315.527.2 Night 6Wed.17.916.717.314.622.46-Night Avg.19.317.615.714.622.8
THE GIFT OF GABBY: NBC earned a 23.1 overnight rating for last night’s taped primetime Olympic coverage, which featured U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas winning the women’s all-around Gold Medal and U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps edging out Ryan Lochte for a Gold Medal in the 200-meter IM. While ratings are subject to change when the national figures are released, that overnight is the second best for the London Games to date and up 10% compared to the same night during the Beijing Games in ’08. Salt Lake City again topped all U.S. markets with a 29.9 local rating, while Douglas’ home market of Norfolk finished third with a 29.9 rating.
JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS: NBC Sports Network averaged 2.5 million viewers for the first two U.S. men's basketball games against France and Tunisia. That figure is up 70% compared to the four-game average on USA Network during the ’08 Beijing Games. Meanwhile, NBCSN averaged 1.5 million viewers through the first two U.S. women’s basketball games, up 52% compared to USA Network in ’08. The women’s squad also averaged 11.4 million viewers on NBC for its game against Tunisia last Saturday, up 96% compared to the squad’s two-game average on NBC in ’08 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
UNEXPECTED SUCCESS: NBC Sports Group President Mark Lazarus on a conference call with reporters Thursday said the net is “over delivering” on every platform -- TV, online and mobile -- through the first six days of the London Games. The strong audience has led NBC to be able to sell ads it held back in the event of needing to make-good with advertisers. Although ratings have been strong, Lazarus doesn’t “expect it to necessarily continue every night.” NBC execs predicted archery could be the breakout sport of the Games on the heels of “The Hunger Games” books and film, and it has exceeded expectations. NBC Research President Alan Wurtzel revealed archery has been the most popular Olympic offering on cable. He said, “Archery is the new curling. The numbers for archery have been nothing less than huge. It delivered an average of 1.5 million viewers, the highest-rated cable sport, beating out basketball.” Wurtzel said Nielsen research showed the teenage audience has increased 28% overall, with teen girls up 52% and teen boys up 7%. Among kids aged 2-11, viewership is up 33%. Wurtzel said, “We’re cultivating the next Olympic generation” (Joe Perez, THE DAILY).
TUNING OUT THE CRITICISM: Lazarus continues to deflect criticism of NBC’s use of tape-delay broadcasts for high-interest events, saving them for primetime viewing. He said, "The overwhelming majority of people are voting with their clicker and their mouses and their fingertips on every device, saying, 'We're with you, we're enjoying what you're doing, thank you, please continue.” He added, "We listen, we read, we understand that there are people who don't like what we're doing. We think that's a very loud minority, and the silent majority has been with us the first six days” (Perez). In California, Jim Carlisle writes, “If ESPN had these Games, I would submit to you that it would still be showing a delayed prime-time show every night.” It might air on ABC, but it “would still happen because after all these years ... this is what viewers have come to expect.” Not only that, it is “what they want” (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 8/3). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth noted the “original tsunami of Twitter criticism" concerning NBC's tape-delayed coverage seems to have "dried up and redirected itself to something else glittery and shiny.” The reality is that NBC’s numbers have “muffled the 140-character gripefest.” If it seems to be a “cause-and-effect relationship, it’s effectively a lost cause because it hasn’t affected NBC’s bottom line” (DAILYNEWS.com, 8/2). In Boston, Chad Finn notes until Twitter “grows more mainstream, or until viewers send NBC the ultimate message by turning off their televisions and computers, the reality is that a supposed tipping point is not nearly as close as it appeared a few days ago” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/3).
SELLING THE DRAMA? In London, Guy Adams, whose Twitter account was briefly suspended earlier in the week, noted NBC was “accused of deliberately editing footage of the women’s team gymnastics in order to create what critics called ‘fake suspense.’” Russian gymnast Ksenia Afanasyeva's fall during the floor exercise Tuesday during team finals, which “effectively handed a gold medal to Team USA during an early stage of the contest, was inexplicably removed from the time-delayed version of events that NBC presented to its prime-time television viewers.” NBC “instead cut to footage of its home team’s floor rotation.” Although the event was “essentially over as a meaningful contest, commentator Al Trautwig attempted to stoke viewer enthusiasm by wondering if the US: ‘can deliver a knockout blow’” (London INDEPENDENT, 8/2).
NBC is weaving athletes' parents, like Lynn and
Rich Raisman, into Olympic broadcasts
WEB ISSUES: One hiccup on the digital side of NBC's coverage has been with viewers directed to the NBCOlympic website via Twitter to watch live events. Many viewers are experiencing pre-roll footage prior to seeing their desired event. When the footage concludes, a portion of the programming has been missed. “We’re learning as we go here,” Lazarus said. “We’re not trying to put you in a position where you are missing something that you are coming for. We can ‘early up’ our tweets maybe to get people there early so we don’t put you in a position where you are going to miss something. This is part of our grand lab of learning. It’s a little bit of a learn-as-you-go, especially with these new technologies. We are committed to making it a better experience every day” (Perez). The VENTURA COUNTY STAR's Carlisle writes, “What's been particularly annoying is when you go to a short event, such as a swimming race, especially if NBCOlympics.com has sent you an alert that it's about to begin, only to have an ad run when you first launch the player. It's possible to miss the whole event while waiting for the ad to finish” (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 8/3). In Jacksonville, Francine King noted, “First, instead of showing the gymnastics all-around finals live at 11:30 a.m. on one of its many channels, NBC forces me to watch a live feed on my computer. ... Then every 2-3 minutes, a 15- or 30-second commercial cuts into the live feed.” King added, “With all the down time in gymnastics, you’re telling me they can’t time the commercials between routines. Oh no, that would be too much trouble” (JACKSONVILLE.com, 8/2).
GLOOMY BROADCAST: In London, Hannah Furness notes the BBC has “faced criticism” of its Olympic coverage, with viewers “complaining their post-event interviews are miserable, depressing and making silver medal winners ‘feel like losers.’” Viewers have “condemned some broadcasters for focusing on gold medals to the detriment of everything else, criticising them for making medal winners ‘feel bad about their achievements’” (London TELEGRAPH, 8/3).
THIS IS "TODAY": Douglas’ win dominated the tone of “Today’s” Olympic coverage Friday. She was interviewed live twice -- once during the opening segment of the program and again later in the second hour with fellow American all-around Gold Medalists MARY LOU RETTON, CARLY PATTERSON and NASTIA LIUKIN. In addition to the Douglas interview, the first hour contained live interviews with Raisman, swimmers Lochte and TYLER CLARY and U.K. Prime Minister DAVID CAMERON. A taped interview with Clary and fellow Gold Medal-winning swimmer REBECCA SONI aired, as did a taped segment on South African runner OSCAR PISTORIUS, who has two prosthetic legs. The second hour previewed the Olympic track & field competition, which began Friday, with a taped report on Jamaican sprinter USAIN BOLT. The Gold Medal-winning team from women’s eight rowing was interviewed live. Gold Medal-winning judoka KAYLA HARRISON, the first American to win the Gold Medal in judo, was interviewed live in the third hour. The show also aired taped reports on female boxer QUEEN UNDERWOOD and athletes competing for Somalia (THE DAILY).
TV personality Ryan Seacrest’s presence during NBC's London Games coverage has been “most notable for its absence,” according to Mary McNamara of the L.A. TIMES. After an “initial big showing, Seacrest has gone strangely silent, especially in prime time.” He became the "first big target for critics and coverage-haters" after his interview with U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps during the Opening Ceremony, and even in the “relatively low standards of the genre, none of his interviews have been great." That highlights "not only his lack of sports knowledge but also mystifyingly successful Seacrest brand of blandocity." He has joined the “Today” show cast to “participate in a few group events,” but if NBC execs “hoped Seacrest would bring ratings magic, they may be disappointed.” McNamara: "He is neither artist nor entertainer; he is certainly not a journalist. He is a survivor but one is never quite certain to what end. Surely it cannot be to ask a bronze medal winner how he is feeling" (L.A. TIMES, 8/3). Seacrest said, "We've been prepping for the Olympics for a while, as there's an enormous amount of knowledge and information to come up to speed on. We had three huge binders of info, countless meetings and briefings, and the folks at NBC Research are our friends." He added, "There are thousands of people dedicated to NBC's success in London, and you can see it and feel it behind the scenes and in front of the camera every day" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/10 issue).
MAKING THE GRADE: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth grades NBC’s Olympic reporters and gives primetime studio host Bob Costas an “A” for his coverage. Costas has “aged into the standard-bearer for this role, relaxed, experienced, and realizing he's not bigger than the Opening Ceremonies, thus no need to call attention to himself in demanding a personal moment of silence for the '72 Israeli massacre.” Mid-day hosts Dan Patrick and Al Michaels earn an “A-plus,” and NBC should use them for “co-hosting, like an ESPN ‘SportsCenter’ set, instead of trying to segment them.” Seacrest earns a “B,” as he is “bothersome at best with his ‘Social Download’ reports, innocuous at most, making all the proceedings more female familiar.” More of Michelle Beadle "wouldn't be bad instead.” Meanwhile, John McEnroe “reminds us why his 2004 CNBC chat show was canceled after four months.” Hoffarth: "Away from tennis, he's oatmeal. Thankfully, NBC puts him back on the sport for Sunday's men's final. Grade: C-minus” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/3).
OTHER OPINIONS: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand writes NBC has "tightened its interviews and up-close-and-personals, which dragged in past Games, and, mercifully, kept Olympic TV rookie Ryan Seacrest on a short leash." Costas is "good, but as he quickly sends viewers to venues, he could almost be replaced by a hologram” (USA TODAY, 8/3). In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley wrote Costas “apparently has been sipping from the fountain of youth flask Dick Clark carried around for many years," or Costas is “some kind of Benjamin Button or Dorian Gray figure who’s getting younger, not older, every time he works one of these” (JSONLINE.com, 8/2).
The CBC securing the TV rights for the '14 Sochi and '16 Rio de Janeiro Games has "set off speculation in the industry about how the embattled public broadcaster can afford to mount the Games at a price that Canadian private broadcasters said would not work for them," according to Dowbiggin & Chase of the GLOBE & MAIL. CBC Exec VP/English Services Kirstine Stewart has promised that the net "will break even or make a small profit as the Games return to CBC for the first time since 2008." But advertising revenues for Sochi are "expected to be modest due to the nine-hour time difference between the Russian city and the east coast of North America." Rio de Janeiro is in the Eastern time zone, but it will "still require considerable production costs." The CBC maintains that it can "generate more revenue with an Olympics telecast than it might with its usual broadcasting." Also, a "key factor" for the CBC is the ability "to place Olympic programming on its other networks such as CBC Bold and CBC News Network." The cable and satellite industry is "moving toward more choice for consumers," and having the Olympic rights creates a "strong incentive for viewers to pay the fee for channels once they are no longer compulsory." The Games also will allow the CBC to "drive viewership to the official Olympic site and to its streaming services, which are not getting as much attention when competition has the Games" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/3).
A plan to convert London's Olympic Stadium into a soccer stadium after the Games "could cost the public" $233.4M (all figures U.S.) on top of the original building costs, according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The original $147.8M estimate has now increased by $31.1M to "include upgrades to the 'no frills' stadium, including internal toilets, corporate hospitality suites, a new pitch, a partial roof extension and a reduction in capacity from 80,000 to 60,000." An extra $54.5M is also "needed to fund retractable seats over the running track and a full extension of the roof to cover every seat." The roof currently only covers two-thirds of the stadium. The additional $233.4M would "come on top" of the $669M already paid by taxpayers to build the stadium for the Games. It will "be discussed next week when the London Legacy Development Corporation, the mayor’s property arm, opens formal negotiations with four bidders shortlisted this month." The favorite "to be awarded the 99-year lease" in October is EPL club West Ham United (LONDON TIMES, 8/3).
TOO LATE TO CHANGE ANYTHING: The GUARDIAN's Simon Jenkins writes the London Games are "fine," and the facilities at Stratford are "as good as ever." But when he rhetorically asks whether the Games are worth $14B cost to hold them, he answers, "No, of course not. The Games was never worth that." The Olympics "seems enjoyable and remarkably scandal-free," but more "worrying is the impact on political discourse." To quarrel with "any feature of the game is to be a whingeing, unpatriotic naysayer." But the city of London "will not recover the cost of the Olympics and may as well forget it." Having spent the money, London residents "should at least lie back and enjoy" the Games, but also "should stop pretending." The "real victims of London's mind-numbing mendacity will be the poor and hapless citizens of Rio in 2016," as they " really cannot afford it" (GUARDIAN, 8/3).
NO REAL TOURISM BUMP: CBS' Mark Phillips examined the economic impact on London during the Olympics, and he said, "It’s not exactly like they threw a party and nobody came. They’ve come alright, just not to the places people hoped they’d come.” Crowds have "tended to stay at the Games” and the “much-hyped bump in general tourism hasn’t happened." Phillips: "In fact, the opposite has happened. Tourism operators say business is way down. ... The surprising thing is this shouldn’t be a surprise. It happens almost all the time. For cities trying to make a name for themselves, the Olympics can be a draw, at least for the future. But for established world cities like London, there always seems to be a dropoff. People scared off by security fears or by jacked-up hotel prices.” New York Univ. Prof. of Urban Policy & Planning Mitchell Moss: “There’s a myth about the Olympics that somehow just having them is going to solve all the problems of the city. The Olympics historically have added to problems of cities.” Phillips said Great Britain’s “government and Olympic officials are saying take the long view, the image created by these Games will payoff in the end" (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 8/3).
Loudmouth is garnering some of its greatest visibility as it makes its debut at the London Games, with U.S. beach volleyball players Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser getting plenty of press attention while sporting the company’s boardshorts, jerseys and hats during competition. The result has been an influx of web traffic around its Resortwear line launched in January and available online. Loudmouth CEO Larry Jackson said during the pair’s first two matches, the company's web servers were "experiencing twenty-five to fifty times the normal servicing average during that one-hour time span.” Jackson did not give specifics about how sales are trending, but the boardshorts are making up “about 20-25% of the sales when we’re looking at those spiked sequences based on the guys being on the court on TV.” Each win by Rogers and Dalhausser brings more exposure to the brand competing with sports manufacturing giants Nike and official LOCOG sponsor adidas. Jackson said, “Every match we’re going to see more response because the deeper they go into the tournament, the more eyes are going to be on them which will automatically turn into traffic for us."
MAKING A BOLD STATEMENT: Loudmouth signed a sponsorship deal with Rogers and Dalhausser for the pair to wear the brand's apparel and hats during all Olympic and non-Olympic play for the '12 season. The company during the ’10 Vancouver Games sponsored the Norwegian curling team and saw a spike in sales at the beginning of the Games when the team played against Canada, and at the end when the team played in the Gold Medal match, again against the host country. Jackson said the spike in interest is nice, but the real numbers are those consumers who first visit out of interest during the Games, then return for repeat purchases long after the finish. “What you really want is enough new eyeballs, that when the Games are all over, you’ve got a 20 or 30 or 40 percent generic uptick in your sales.”
A NOD OF APPROVAL: Jackson said the process of getting the threads approved by the IOC and the FIVB was “very interesting." Jackson: "You’ve got a lot of specifications about the size of the letters, the placement of the USA, the numbers 1 and 2, the guy’s names on the back, the flag that goes on it and especially your corporate logo.” The corporate logo on the shorts and shirts islimited to 20 square centimeters. Loudmouth is relying on press and PR for activation on the ground in London. A notable appearance was on Wednesday morning’s “Today” show, where the all of the hosts wore Loudmouth wind jackets, hoodies and sports coats during a visit and game with Rogers and Dalhausser.
adidas is crediting it “biggest ever UK marketing campaign 'Take the Stage' for lifting sales of London 2012-related merchandise" to around US$155.7M, according to MARKETING WEEK. This means that the sports manufacturer "has already recouped" its US$155.7M investment in sponsoring the London Games, with "further sales expected." The campaign launched earlier this year and has featured British athletes and celebrities including heptathlete Jessica Ennis, soccer player David Beckham and comedian Keith Lemmon (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 8/3).
NECESSARY TO PREVENT AMBUSH MARKETING: The IOC has been diligent about preventing ambush marketing at the Olympics, and adidas CEO Herbert Hainer supports the effort. He said, "This is absolutely correct because as a sponsor, you put a lot of money into it. You spend it … helping them organize the Olympic Games and then you're granted some rights and the only thing you want is that these rights are respected. Not more, not less.” Hainer said the IOC and London have “learned that if this happens again,” such as when Nike inundated the ’96 Atlanta Games with its logo, “then no sponsor will be willing to pay any money anymore." He added, "From a commercial perspective, we’re doing very well. We have achieved already our objective and from the exposure … you see us everywhere” (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 8/2).
NOT HEADING TO THE RUNWAY: REUTERS’ Hoang & Kirby note the adidas outfits that are worn by over 90,000 Olympic staffers have been getting less than kind reviews. The pink and magenta uniforms for 11,000 Olympics ambassadors "charged with helping visitors make the most of their time in various Games locations across Britain, were designed to stand out and reflect Britain's sporting heritage.” Meanwhile, more than 80,000 volunteers and officials are wearing purple and red uniforms designed by LOCOG. British designer and London Design Museum co-Founder Stephen Bayley called the uniforms “atrocious” and said that they "look as though they were made for a Sacha Baron Cohen parody." One Olympic volunteer said of the design, "Not very nice at all. Let's just put it this way: I wouldn't wear this garment to go anywhere outside these Olympics" (REUTERS, 8/3).
The city of London's “high-rolling banking industry is rolling as low as possible” at the Summer Games, according to a front-page piece by Schaefer Munoz & Cimilluca of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The Olympics are “typically one of the biggest corporate schmoozefests on the calendar, with official sponsors and interlopers alike flashing the cash for the best tickets, best party venues and best celebrity guests.” Many banks and other companies “spent mightily four years ago in Beijing to show their clients a good time and increase their profile in China.” But this time around, banks are “under pressure to cut costs and avoid displays of wealth that will further inflame an already angry public.” Prestige Ticketing Marketing Dir Tony Barnard, whose company is the official corporate-hospitality provider of the London Games, said, "The uptake by banks has been much lower than we anticipated." But he added that demand from other sectors “has been robust and its inventory is nearly sold out.” Schaefer Munoz & Cimilluca report Lloyds Banking Group is “arguably in the trickiest position by virtue of its Olympic sponsorship.” The bank “didn't buy all of the several thousand tickets allocated to it in the original agreement.” The bank said, "The majority of our guests will travel to and from Olympic venues on public transport" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).
FAST COMPANY’s Rae Ann Fera examined AT&T’s Olympic ad effort and reports as “part of its Olympic sponsorship, AT&T is bringing some innovation into its advertising." The company is integrating "record-breaking and award-winning performances of Team USA athletes into a series of spots created by BBDO New York that are scheduled to air the day after the event.” What makes the campaign interesting is "how it so quickly integrates the actual award-winning performances into the ad, versus pre-recorded or historical footage.” Detailing how the agency is completing the ads, Fera wrote three sports were selected as the campaign’s focus, and BBDO created six versions of each spot and worked with NBC “to arrange for access to the footage within unusually quick turnaround times” (FASTCOMPANY.com, 7/31).
DROPPING THEM BEATS: The AP's Jill Lawless notes the IOC has "clamped down on a bit of guerrilla marketing" that saw several athletes "sporting stylish -- but non sponsor-brand -- headphones at the games," including the Beats by Dr. Dre brand. British Olympic Association Dir of Communications & Olympic Media Strategy Darryl Seibel Thursday said that officials "have reminded team leaders of 'the importance of protecting our corporate partners' and of rules against endorsing commercial products on Twitter." He added that "no one had received any formal warnings or sanctions over the matter" (AP, 8/3).
SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE? BRAND REPUBLIC's John Reynolds reports U.K.-based wine and alcohol retailer Oddbins has "escaped legal action from London 2012 organisers over its controversial Olympic marketing stunt, which highlighted how the chain has been prevented from referring to the Games in its marketing while pushing its discounts on wine." One Window display at Oddbins read, "We're not allowed to tell you which team we're supporting...so we'll tell you about this Aussie champion instead. Jansz Brut NV £15." Another display read, "We can't mention the event. We can’t mention the city. We can’t even mention the year. At least they can't stop us telling you about this: Rococco Rose £17" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 8/3).
U.S. swimmer RYAN LOCHTE appeared live on-set on NBC’s “Today” Friday morning and he told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “I’m relieved that it’s finally over. It’s been a long four years but you know what, I’m coming home to my country with five Olympic medals. I can’t be more happy.” Lauer asked, “Were these the Games you envisioned?” Lochte said, “Whenever I step on the blocks I’m always going there to win … and sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But overall, I’m pretty happy.” Lauer noted that in an interview he did with Lochte a few months before the London Games, he asked Lochte to “write the headline for what the papers will say when these games are over and you said, ‘I hope it says Ryan Lochte takes over.’ What’s the headline?” Lochte: “That’s hard to say just because I had some up-and-down swims at this Olympics. I don’t know, it’s hard to say, I’m just going to have to wait and see what the actual media says” (“Today,” NBC, 8/3).
VLAD THE IMPALER: The AP noted Russia President VLADIMIR PUTIN, a "longtime judo enthusiast," on Thursday attended the men's 100-kilogram judo finals at the London Games as Russian TAGIR KHAIBULAEV won the Gold Medal. Putin "arrived Thursday in London" and met with U.K. Prime Minister DAVID CAMERON for "about 45 minutes before heading out to the Olympic judo venue" (AP, 8/2). Putin is "a judo black belt" and a "master in the art of intermingling sports and politics" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).
MINGLING WITH THE MASSES: YAHOO SPORTS' Martin Rogers noted PRINCE WILLIAM and his wife, KATE MIDDLETON, Thursday "surprised fans at the Olympic Games tennis tournament at Wimbledon by sitting in the cheap seats." The pair "decided to shun the VIP seating available to them in favor of a regular spot in the stands" while watching Britain's ANDY MURRAY play Spain's NICOLAS ALMAGRO (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/2).
STAMP OF APPROVAL: British Gold Medal-winning rowers HELEN GLOVER and HEATHER STANNING are being "celebrated in a commemorative stamp" that the U.K.'s Royal Mail released Thursday (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.com, 8/1).
BUSTING HIS CHOPS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Paul Sonne wrote British Gold Medal-winning cyclist BRADLEY WIGGINS, who "rocks a pair of seriously-retro ginger mutton chops," has "fuelled Britain's already-growing sideburn mania." Fans at the men's road race time trial on Wednesday "donned fake sideburns." Many U.K. tabloids on Thursday were then "offering cut-out sideburns in his honor on their front pages" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).
CHILD'S PLAY: In Albany, Mark McGuire wrote about London Games mascots WENLOCK and MANDEVILLE and asked, “Why do Olympic mascots always seem to, um, suck?” McGuire: “Why do they always seem to resemble characters from a rejected Nick Jr. pilot -- cutesy but creepy, simple but sinister, made for 3-year-olds but too complex in concept for anyone to digest? Yes, it's all about merchandising. Of course, they are aimed at kids. But would you want your kindergartener waking up to those all-seeing eyes in the middle of the night?” (TIMESUNION.com, 8/2).
The U.S. men’s basketball team’s 156-73 win over Nigeria on Thursday is drawing plenty of attention on Twitter. Athletes, media members and comedians joined in the conversation. MSNBC’s Willie Geist wrote, “I have to leave this USA/Nigeria game. I feel like I'm witnessing a crime. Fans to give statements to Interpol.” “Dan Patrick Show” Producer Paul Pabst tweeted, “Can you imagine what sports radio is like in Nigeria today? Whew!” Heat G Dwyane Wade posted, “83 point lost REALLY??? #LetYourGameDoTheTalking. #2012.” “Late Show” Exec Producer Eric Stangel: “This USA – Nigeria #Olympics Men's Basketball game is a ladder trick away from being a Globetrotters game... #domination.”
Other Olympic tweets of interest:
U.S. women’s soccer team F Alex Morgan: “I love hearing for the first time about our #USWNT post-olympic schedule on twitter. thats just great.”
U.S. sprinter Nick Symmonds: “Olympic athletes are not given tickets from the IOC. Parents, spouses, coaches, forced to watch on TV. #WeDemandChange.”
U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Tyler Clary: "Just gave a shutout to @Skrillex and @deadmau5 for being my musical inspirations on #USWeekly. I'd love to learn from these guys!!!”
ESPN's Kristi Dosh: "ESPN research comes up with some fun things, like this: at age 10, Michael Phelps was #2 swimmer of his age class behind Kris Humphries.
Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson: “Fans are not going to be happy with these red U.S. track & field uniforms. You'll mistake them for another country a few times, no doubt.”
NBCSports.com’s Daniel Martin: “You're telling me that if they put handball in primetime, people wouldn't watch it? Get outta here.”
NBC’s Ryan Seacrest: “thx tony p. and the @subway team for hooking up our radio studio in london...the food is great.”
Each day during the Summer Games, THE DAILY offers our take on the business performances of some of the people, sponsors, broadcasters and other entities around London.MEDALMEDALIST
GOLD: GABBY DOUGLAS -- At the start of the year, the energetic 16-year-old was a virtual unknown. She did not land her first sponsor, Procter & Gamble, until after she won the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this summer. But after her Gold Medal triumph in the gymnastics all-around competition Thursday, Kellogg's quickly tabbed Douglas to be on boxes of Corn Flakes. Look for a lot more deals to come her way. To read about her agent, Sheryl Shade, click here.
SILVER: AT&T'S QUICK TURNAROUND -- Within hours of Rebecca Soni setting a world record in the 200-meter breaststroke Thursday, AT&T not only used footage of the race in an advertising spot, but it had an actress writing Soni's winning time on a message board as the ad came to a close. That's an impressive turnaround by AT&T and its marketing team, and raises the bar on Olympic advertising.
BRONZE: DOW -- The company not only has made it through the first week of the Games without activists and the Bhopal tragedy overshadowing its Olympic efforts -- thanks in large part to Dow's improved communications -- but it also has a clear eye on Olympic sales, saying it will generate $1B in Olympics-related business by '20.
TIN: WHERE IS EVERYBODY? -- Predictions from the government and organizers that London would be a madhouse has caused many people to stay away, turning much of the city into a ghost town. That is nice for traffic but certainly not good for merchants, taxi drivers, hotels and anyone else who had high hopes for these Games.
SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal has launched a free website exclusively geared to the Summer Games that will feature news, video, blogs and much more from London. See the site today for the following news:
Meanwhile, see today’s issue of SBD Global for the following stories you may have missed: