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Volume 6 No. 214
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Olympics Marketing Notes

In  London, MARKETING MAGAZINE's Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith reported that adidas and EDF have joined the group of Olympic sponsors targeted by lobbying group 38 Degrees, including Coke, McDonald's and Visa, in waiving the tax breaks handed to them during the Olympics. Within the past week, adidas, EDF, Procter & Gamble, BMW, Dow, Atos, Acer, Panasonic, Omega and Samsung have submitted responses to 38 Degrees either admitting they "will skip the tax break available to them from profits made during the Games, or that they were not eligible for exemption at all." The companies join Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Visa and General Electric, who responded to the 'Olympic Tax Dodging' campaign within days of its inception (, 7/27).

: In London, Russell Lynch reported IOC TOP sponsor GE "won sales of more than $100M as it helped to get London ready for the Olympics." The company has garnered $1B in "infrastructure sales since it became associated with the Olympics in '06." GE CEO Jeff Immelt said, "It is perfect for us. We are so global, it is a great global brand and it takes us to places that are important for the company: China, London, Brazil and Russia. These are places where the company has a big footprint so the sponsorship has made a lot of sense for us" (INDEPENDENT, 7/30).

TIME FOR A CHANGE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Shirley Wang noted as an IOC TOP sponsor and the "official timekeeper of the Olympics, Omega's timepieces will hang in the All England Lawn Tennis Club where the London Games' tennis competition" began Saturday. The deal is a "loss for Rolex, who has served as the official timekeeper for the Wimbledon tennis tournament since '78." Rolex-branded clocks "around the famed sporting grounds will be covered up for the duration of the Games." Omega President Stephen Urquhart said, "Obviously I think that Rolex cannot be happy. It's their patrimony, and we'll be there for two weeks" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/30).

FASHION ON THE FIELD: NBC’s Willie Geist asked football analyst Cat Whitehill during halftime of the Colombia-U.S. women's soccer game Saturday for her thoughts about the Nike-produced U.S. jerseys. Geist asked, "What do you think of the ‘Where’s Waldo?’ jerseys today? Do we like these?” Whitehill: “I have to give mad props to Nike. They do an excellent job for the U.S. national team, and it is a bit different. A lot of times women are afraid of stripes, but they look good and I like the pop of the blue. At least you can find them on the field. That’s all that matters” (NBC Sports Network, 7/28).