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Volume 24 No. 156
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Olympic Marketing Notes: Opening Ceremony Outfits For Various Countries Reviewed

Harper’s Bazaar Exec Fashion & Beauty Editor Avril Graham discussed the fashion worn by all the Olympians at the London Games. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie said, “The truth is, what the athletes wear does matter.” The British team “is taking a leaf out of Kate Middleton’s book,” as they are “going to the High Street retailer.” They have a “very understated look that they’re going to have for the Opening Ceremony,” but there is a “bit of gossip saying there might be a little bit of bling in the jackets.” Graham noted Cedella Marley, the daughter of late singer Bob Marley, designed some of the sportswear for the Jamaican team, and there will be the “colors of the Jamaican flag” and a “slight touch of military, too, which is fab." Graham: "Usain Bolt is going to look quite gorgeous walking in tonight.” Meanwhile, some members of the Spanish team “don't love” the design of their outfits. Graham: “It's a Russian designer. It’s a very sort of blingy red color. There's a bit of controversy in Spain because they do have fabulous designers in Spain. I think it cost a little bit less for the team outfits by going to a foreign designer” (“Today,” NBC, 7/27).

: USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz reports the question for sponsors entering the London Games is whether the "enormous amount of time and money that Olympic marketers are pouring into social media a brilliant investment -- or a gigantic waste," and the answer is "yes -- to both.” IOC TOP sponsor P&G Global Marketing & Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard is “making an astonishing projection: Social media will account for roughly half its impressions.” Pritchard said, “We have evidence that our social-media space provides a better return than TV.” Horovitz noted getting folks to use Facebook or Twitter to “focus on brands -- instead of athletes -- may be an Olympian task.” Brand consultant Martin Lindstrom said that while social-media activity for Olympic sponsors “might be enormously successful in terms of hits or likes, people suppress the brand name if the brand doesn't have a natural fit with the social-media activity.” Coca-Cola Senior VP/Integrated Marketing Wendy Clark said that the company can “supply ‘share-worthy’ content that gives young adults ‘cred’ in their social media circles.” Clark: “The numbers have passed the skeptics at this point” (USA TODAY, 7/27).

HAPPY MEALS? In London, Richard Gillis reports former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair has “welcomed the presence of Coca-Cola and McDonald's as sponsors of London 2012.” Blair said that he sees “no conflict between the platform given to the fast food and soft drinks giants and the aim of improving the nation's health.” Blair said, “Sport and diet are an important part of that. But I think, everything in its proper place and everything in moderation. I have no problem with McDonald's and Coke being sponsors here” (London INDEPENDENT, 7/27). USA TODAY’s Horovitz notes McDonald’s Olympic menu may be its “most diverse ever -- from Spicy Veggie Wraps to organic milk.” Horovitz: “But critics say McDonald’s is fooling no one. Even the London Assembly recently passed a motion calling for a sports sponsorship ban on fast-food companies such as McDonald’s and soft-drink makers such as Coca-Cola” (USA TODAY, 7/27).

PANTS PARTY: The PA reports the IOC has “denied that anti-ambush marketing checks will include examining athletes' underwear for logos belonging to unofficial sponsors.” Competitors will be fined "if they drop their shorts to display them.” In June, Denmark F Nicklas Bendtner was fined US$125,445 by UEFA and “banned for a game after he exposed underpants" bearing the name of bookmaker Paddy Power during Euro 2012. IOC Coordination Commissioner Chair Denis Oswald said that spectators “should not worry about wearing clothing emblazoned with company names, or football tops bearing club sponsor logos” (PA, 7/27).