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Volume 10 No. 25
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Olympic Marketing Notes

MEDIA WEEK's John Reynolds reported that the Times newspaper in London "put on up to 100,000 extra copies on the first Saturday of the Olympics," easily outperforming its rivals, after its London 2012 souvenir edition proved a hit with readers. The Telegraph, which has invested heavily in the Olympics, reported a "circulation lift of up to 30,000 on top of its Saturday average of 753,110." The Guardian lifted its Saturday average of 371,155 by 15,000. However, a source close to the Guardian said that its "circulation lift was higher than that." The Saturday issue of the Daily Mail, also featuring an Olympic special, was up 50,000 on its average Saturday circulation of 2,614,906. The Daily Express was up 25,000 copies on its Saturday average of 634,192 (, 7/31). 

RUN PAULA RUN: MARKETING MAGAZINE's Reynolds also reported that Nike "has produced a quick-turnaround digital outdoor and print campaign staring Paula Radcliffe," just days after she pulled out of the Olympics. Radcliffe, a Team GB marathon runner, pulled out the of the Games "with a foot injury just two days ago," eliminating her chances of ever winning an Olympic medal. If Radcliffe had not been hit by injury, Nike, which is not an official London 2012 sponsor, would not have been able to run the ad because of stringent rules protecting sponsors during the Olympics (, 8/1). 

GIFT MEGASTORE: In London, Sam Jones reported that the queue to get into the main gift centre -- a snaking, seven-lane and five-minute-long affair-- is anything to go by, "London 2012 is doing a brisk trade on the merchandising front." Almost "anything that the Olympic-inflamed mind can conceive of is offered inside the store," which has the same generous proportions as a luxury car showroom, if not quite prices to match (GUARDIAN, 8/1).

LOUD CLOTHING: The AP noted U.S. men’s beach volleyball players Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser “took to the sand for the first time on Sunday night wearing a funky red, white and blue boardshort designed by Loudmouth, the same company that made the much-discussed pants the Norwegian curlers wore” during the ’10 Vancouver Games. Rogers and Dalhausser “narrowed it down from eight choices to three they'll wear in London.” Rogers said, "I don't think anyone's ever worn anything like this at the Summer Games. It's different. It's fun. Beach volleyball is a fun game, so I think they go hand in hand" (AP, 7/29). Rogers and Dalhausser appeared on NBC's "Today" this morning and played a game against the show's anchors, who were wearing Loudmouth gear ("Today," NBC, 8/1).

FAIR TRADING: In London, Dominic Walsh reported InterContinental Hotels Group, the official hotel supplier to the Olympic Games, has been “accused of engaging in uncompetitive behaviour by seeking to prevent online travel agents from discounting its rooms.” The Office of Fair Trading, which “began a formal investigation into the issue in Sept. '10, alleges that InterContinental Hotels Group has broken competition law by fixing the price of rooms sold over the internet through Expedia and” (LONDON TIMES, 8/1).

SCALE BACK: MARKETING MAGAZINE’s Gemma Charles noted, “Several brands with direct competitors as official sponsors of the Olympics have cut their marketing spend by millions of pounds in the run up” to the London Games. Ebiquity research found that Unilever, Nestlé and MasterCard are “among those to have opted not to try to oppose their rivals and Olympic sponsors Procter & Gamble, Cadbury and Visa in the marketing stakes, and are, in effect, sitting out the Games.” Over the 12 weeks to July 15, compared with the same period in ‘11, an analysis of the ad spend of brands “competing with sponsor rivals revealed it is down overall by 6%.” The figures “refer to TV and print advertising spend” (, 7/31).