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Volume 24 No. 154
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Olympic Marketing Notes: IOC Eyeing Chinese Companies To Join TOP Program

IOC Marketing Commission Chair Gerhard Heiberg said that Chinese firms "are in talks to join the Olympic sponsor programme" as the IOC “seeks to extend its reach in Asia, but also keep a limit on the number of prime sponsors.” REUTERS’ Karolus Grohmann noted the IOC “relies heavily” on the 11 sponsors in the TOP program who contribute an estimated $100M each "for every two-games package of one winter and one summer games.” Heiberg said, “We have kept a space open hoping a Chinese company will join.” Heiberg said that he "was also talking to South Korean and Japanese companies” and that an addition of a Chinese firm “would be by 2016 at the latest.” Taiwan-based computer company Acer is the “only leading sponsor that has not so far renewed its sponsorship” (REUTERS, 7/11).

NO KIDDING AROUND: The AP’s Mae Anderson notes Procter & Gamble yesterday “unveiled an ad that shows child athletes arriving in London and getting ready to compete.” In the “Kids” commercial, a “proud mom watches her son on the diving board.” An announcer then says, “To their moms, they’ll always be kids.” The spot ends with the company tagline: “P&G, proud sponsor of moms.” P&G Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard said, “It’s the largest multibrand program we’ve ever done.” P&G “expects the campaign to drive" $500M in sales. The company is “focusing on its most profitable markets, which include the U.S., Mexico, Germany and Brazil.” Pritchard: “We designed the program to be global, to ensure that we would be successful in top markets” (AP, 7/12).

BUILDING A LEGACY: BRAND REPUBLIC’s Sarah Shearman noted General Electric is “launching a digital campaign to raise awareness of its London 2012 Olympics sponsorship and its involvement in building the infrastructure and legacy for the games.” GE has “launched an interactive map, created by Beyond and built on Microsoft's Bing platform, which aims to tell the story of its role in powering the games.” The campaign also “includes games in which users win prizes by answering a series of questions about the Olympics” (, 7/11).

In London, Ashling O’Connor writes when IOC TOP sponsor McDonald’s "enforced its exclusive rights under its fast food contract with organisers, workers and volunteers in the staff canteen in the Olympic Park were told that they could not be served a simple plate of chips." The "only exception, they were told, was if the chips were accompanied by fish.” A LOCOG spokesperson “confirmed that the notice was genuine and that the embargo on chips extended to all Olympic venues.” However, the spokesperson added that the row “had now been resolved and site workers were free to order chips separately” (LONDON TIMES, 7/12).