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SBD Global/March 12, 2013/Olympics

Local Businesses Face Sponsorship Challenges Ahead Of Istanbul's 2020 Olympic Bid

The top brass of Turkey’s business community "may be among the most excited" to see Istanbul win the 2020 Olympics, but any victory for the city "will force businesses to decide how they can advertise themselves to stand out amongst international competition," according to TODAY'S ZAMAN. A marketing official at Sabancı Holding said, "The question you have is how do you attract the worldwide audience given to you by the event, while also differentiating yourself from other sponsors willing to spend tens of millions of dollars? It’s a blessing and a curse." Perception Strategist and Professor of Administrative Sciences and Economics at Koç University Semih Yalman said, "How much can your own brand stand out relies on what market you’re really targeting and how you choose to do the marketing." Although int'l sponsors are key "in helping to foot the massive bill the Olympics would undoubtedly bring, it also forces local companies to decide on the best possible marketing strategies to remain distinct in the sea of labels, brands, and product placements." The Sabancı marketing official said that "the largest spenders in Turkey are conglomerates groups like Sabancı itself that own a hard-to advertise range of companies, products and services." Istanbul Olympic Committee Chair Hasan Arat has said that more private companies are expected to come forward to support the funding of the Olympics, "though it will have to catch up if it wants to beat Tokyo’s powerful sponsorship pool." Tokyo has 16 official partners signed on and could secure $930M "in private funding if they win the bid" (TODAY'S ZAMAN, 3/11).
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