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SBD Global/March 17, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Lloyds Exec Says Brazilian Olympics Organizers Should Look To London For Advice

The staging of the 2016 Rio Olympics could be helped by the IOC sounding out advice from London 2012 sponsors, which would provide invaluable advice about how to sell sponsorship packages, according to one key London 2012 sponsorship exec. Sally Hancock, the former director of Olympic marketing at Lloyds Banking Group, said that Lloyds bank and other London 2012 sponsors “helped tell the marketing story of the organizing committee” for the London Olympics. She said, “We got the message out there. Our experience could help with sponsorship of other events.” Organizers of the 2016 Rio Olympics are struggling to lure domestic sponsors as protests about the expense of the Olympics in Rio and concern over whether they will be a success is making potential sponsors nervous. Hancock said the IOC would benefit by talking to Lloyds, as the bank could pass on learnings and advice, which the IOC could then use to help attract sponsors in Brazil.

REAPING THE REWARDS: Hancock also pointed out that Olympic sponsorship can bear fantastic financial results for a company, pointing to the more than £100M Lloyds generated from its London 2012 sponsorship, which costs £80M, though Hancock said there was still a perception that sponsors “drained the value out of sport.” At a SportsPro Live panel in London, the value of Twitter was also discussed as a commercial tool for sporting stars. David Beckham's publicist Simon Oliveria said that Twitter was not beneficial to all athletes and could ruin a sport star’s mystique if they were too prevalent on social media. For stars such as Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton, however, Twitter “can open up their personality a lot more” than it would through a media interview, Oliveria said. However, Ben Ainslee, the four-time Gold Medal-winning Olympic sailor, questioned the commercial value of Twitter. “I haven’t totally got to grips with how it helps you commercially.”

TARGETED AUDIENCE: Meanwhile, Danish sportswear brand Humme Owner Christian Stadil said that the brand could not compete with the likes of Nike and adidas with expensive sponsorship deals. Instead, Hummel has to target sponsorship teams and individuals with an interesting story to tell that would resonate with the public.
Stadil pointed to Hummel’s sponsorship of the Afghanistan national football team, which he said had “given us millions of pounds of PR coverage,” pointing to coverage the sponsorship had received in newspapers such as the London Guardian and the N.Y. Times.
John Reynolds is a writer in London.
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