The Olympics… It’s complicated


From controversial fast food sponsors to ambush marketing ‘counter-attacks’, Olympic sponsorship seems to be one of the toughest games at play in London 2012. We have seen it coming in past editions but in London, questions about sponsorship have hit the headlines regularly and a couple of important points that can’t be ignored have been raised:

The first one is the suitability of the brands associated with the Games: Is fast and ‘junk food’ sponsorship the right fit for Olympic events? Is it in line with the idea behind the games in the first place? Is the image of the games being compromised by selling out to the highest bidder?

The second one is the mayhem created by the exclusivity of ‘official’ sponsors of the games and clashes with ‘unofficial’ sponsors – but sponsors nonetheless.  Many athletes and teams have individual sponsorship deals in place, and this seems to clash with Olympic sponsorship rules.

Athletes from Team USA for example, have taken to Twitter to protest against what they see as strict sponsorship rules at London 2012. The problem? The rules forbid athletes promoting their own un-official sponsors while the Games are on (that includes Twitter or Facebook profile) even if the US athletes depend on their un-official sponsors to make it to London in the first place!

We reckon a whole review of these two factors is due and Olympic bosses must put their big thinking hats ahead of the next Games in Brazil. What do you think?

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