SBJ/January 2-8, 2012/Olympics

Sponsors activate for Winter Youth Olympic Games

Seven of 11 worldwide Olympic sponsors will roll out marketing efforts in Austria this month in support of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Acer, Coca-Cola, Dow, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Visa all developed promotional efforts to support the event, which will take place in Innsbrook Jan. 13-22. The number of sponsors participating is two fewer than participated in the first Summer Youth Olympic Games, which were held in Singapore. Those games had marketing support from Atos Origin and General Electric, who are not involved in Austria.

Visa is offering branded bags at Olympic retailers at the Youth Olympic Games.
Coca-Cola and Samsung began their marketing efforts last week by sponsoring the Youth Olympic torch relay. The torch, which started an 18-day tour of Austria on Dec. 27, will be carried by 2,012 torch bearers.

In addition to sponsoring the relay, Coca-Cola plans to set up a red, double-decker, London-style bus in Innsbrook’s city center, near the medal plaza. It will provide music and giveaways and be supported by a Coca-Cola Happiness Truck that goes around the city giving away Coca-Cola products.

P&G will emphasize moms in its Youth Olympic Games promotions, just as it did during the Vancouver Olympics. The company will offer the mothers of Youth Olympians free products and lunches during the Games. Its marketing will include a TV, print and public relations campaign across Austria that features Austrian Olympic skier Gregor Schlierenzauer in its “Thank You Mom” campaign.

Dow, which signed on as an Olympic sponsor in 2010, will activate at its first Olympics of any kind during the Winter Youth Olympic Games. The company signed on as the presenting sponsor of the “World Mile,” an area at the Youth Olympic Games that features a display illuminating the history, geography, traditions and culture of all 63 nations participating in the competition.

George Hamilton, vice president of Dow Olympic Operations, said: “While our marketing efforts around the 2012 Youth Olympic Games are limited, we are using this opportunity to forge important business relationships to hopefully participate in the construction and delivery of future Games. And we’re reaching the right people with the right messages.”

McDonald’s, Visa and Acer are all undertaking smaller initiatives. McDonald’s is providing meal vouchers to athletes, Acer is sponsoring a media lab for youth journalists covering the Games and Visa is doing point-of-sale marketing at retail and offering Visa-branded shopping bags at official Olympic retail outlets.

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