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SBD Global/April 29, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Olympic Marketer Warns Brands That Sponsors Are Seen As 'Necessary Evil'

Consultant and former director of Olympic Marketing at Lloyds Banking Group Sally Hancock "has warned brands" that during the 2012 London Olympics, sponsors were viewed by consumers as a "necessary evil," according to Nicola Kemp of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Hancock: "Whether it was complaints over burgers in the shape of Olympic rings or any other problem, it came down to blaming the sponsors. We as an industry are doing a bad job and sponsors are failing to show their worth to consumers." According to Hancock, when rights holders were questioned on the need for sponsors, the only answer given was that the Games "needed the money and this alone was not enough to truly justify their role to consumers." She also said that the IOC's sponsorship platforms "were still too cash based and failed to recognise the reach that brands bring to the Games." Hancock also warned that brands "were in danger of focusing too much on imposing their brand on consumers." Hancock believes that brands "must think carefully about what they bring to consumers." For example, Visa's decision to be the exclusive card provider to the Olympic Games "created controversy." Power Sponsorship Dir Kim Skildum-Reid "agreed that Visa's approach was wrong." Skildum-Reid: "The big takeaway for consumers was 'wow Visa is even more selfish than we thought'" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 4/25).
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