SBD/August 9, 2012/Olympics

GE Eyes Sales Boost From '14 and '16 Olympic Games

IOC TOP sponsor GE has sold two gas turbines to be used to power the '14 Sochi Games, and the company is optimistic that sales from Sochi and the '16 Rio Olympics will rival the more than $1B in sales it amassed over the last four Olympics. GE Dir Olympic Marketing & Sports Programs Chris Katsuleres said, "Both markets are key growth areas. We believe there are real opportunities." GE in China was able to do about $500M in sales as a result of the '08 Beijing Games. A return to two more developing countries -- Brazil and Russia -- could offer similar sales success. GE has used its Olympic sponsorship to make its energy, health care and water treatment products the first choice for Olympic host cities looking to improve their infrastructure before hosting a Games. It sees opportunities to sell products from all three areas in Sochi and Rio. Both cities are undertaking major infrastructure projects ahead of the Olympics. Russia is building a new city along the coast to host the '14 Games, and Rio is planning to overhaul its transportation system before the '16 Olympics. Katsuleres said the sales team got a late start in Sochi, but the team in Rio has plenty of time to work with organizers and government officials to determine what products they need. Katsuleres: "We're getting a sense of the opportunity in Pyeongchang (host of the '18 Winter Games) now, too” (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: AD AGE’s Brian Steinberg cited data from a YouGov BrandIndex survey that noted BP has seen "negative perceptions of its brand reversed during the first part of the Olympics." YouGov asked respondents whether they had heard heard anything about a brand over a select two week period, whether through advertising, news or word of mouth, and then asked whether it was positive or negative information. BP saw its score go from a negative 5.9 in the week prior to the Olympics to a positive 2.6 during the first week of the games. Visa was the only other brand that saw its perception rise more during the time period (ADAGE.com, 8/8).

BRAND
WEEK 1 PRIOR
(7/16-7/20)
OLYMPIC PERIOD
(7/27-8/3)
CHANGE
Visa
8.2
22.7
14.5
BP
-5.9
2.6
8.5
Acer
3.8
8.9
5.1
Coca-Cola
20.5
24
3.5
McDonald's
13.9
16.1
2.3
Heineken
11.2
13.2
2
Panasonic
10.2
11.8
1.6
adidas
12.1
12.9
0.8
Samsung
24
24.8
0.8
British Airways
4
4.1
0.1
GE
11.8
9.4
-2.4
Holiday Inn
15.8
12.6
-3.2
BMW
20.2
16.2
-4

THE CHEMICALS BETWEEN US: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Paul Sonne writes IOC TOP sponsor Dow’s deal has “less visible motives,” which include “wooing top clients, sniffing out Olympics infrastructure deals in advance and attracting employees enticed by the Olympics.” Dow has set a target of generating $1B in sales "through new business tied to the Olympic Games over the sponsorship period and intends to use projects at the 2014 and 2016 Olympics in Russia and Brazil as springboards to expand in those markets.” Dow VP/Olympic Marketing Amy Millslagle said the despite some bad publicity leading into the London Games, the campaign was "100 percent worth it" despite bad publicity around the sponsorship.” She said, “While we had issues, all sponsors have issues. The benefits far outweigh all the issues that come with it.” Millslagle said that Dow’s Olympics sponsorship is “primarily about drumming up business, not image-making.” She noted that Dow has “landed projects for every competition venue being constructed" for the '14 Sochi Games (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/9).
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Related Topics:

Olympics, Nike, GE

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