A revealing statistic from an interview with the IOC’s Marketing Director Timo Lumme in this month’s SportBusiness:
‘The sheer volume of [London 2012] sponsor activity presented challenges, particularly for the team responsible for signing-off on the use of Olympic marks and imagery. This time around they had to deal with 25,000 different partner activations, that is more than double the number for Beijing.’
More than double. And this despite Beijing 2008 having 12 TOP sponsors to London’s 11.
Assuming that Timo is only talking about TOPs, that works out at an average of around 2,500 activations per TOP for London 2012 versus an average of around 1,000 for Beijing 2008. Remarkable. Why did this happen and what conclusions can we draw?
I’d suggest three in particular.
1. China Crisis. Owing to China’s human rights record, Beijing 2008 was highly controversial, with the Torch Relay in particular the target for headline-making worldwide protests, which subsequently led to the IOC restricting the Relay to the host country from 2010. As a consequence, many Olympic partners were understandably reluctant to run Beijing-themed global promotions and concentrated their efforts inside China.
London 2012, in marked contrast, presented no such issues, with many sponsors, for example Coca-Cola’s ‘Move To The Beat’ campaign, making London the thematic centrepiece of global campaigns. Result? Far more sponsor activity around London than around Beijing.
2. The Socialympics. Back in February we coined the term ‘Socialympics’, now in widespread use, and were the first to consider the implications of London 2012 being the first Olympic Games of the global social media era.
We concluded that for the first time social media would be one of the Games sponsors’ key activation channels, which was subsequently borne out by the explosion of social activity during London 2012. This would seem to be the second major factor behind the upweight in TOP activation.
3. Procter & Gamble. New to the TOP programme for London 2012, P&G created a veritable storm of activity around the Games, to the extent that at times it felt impossible to avoid. Crucially, however, in this context, they activated not just around the P&G corporate brand (the strategy for which I’ve written about before, for example here and here) but globally across 34 of their brands.
Although it seems clear that all of the TOPs upped their game between Beijing and London, when you consider the scale and diversity of P&G’s effort, it’s impossible not to conclude that this was the other key factor that drove the step-change in TOP activation volume.
By Tim Crow on September 11th, 2012
Tags: Beijing 2008, Default, London 2012, London 2012 sponsorship, Olympic sponsorship, Olympic sponsorship consultants, Olympic Torch Relay, Olympics, Rio 2016, Rio 2016 Sponsorship, Rio 2016 Sponsorship Consultants, Sochi 2014, Socialympics, Sponsorship, Sponsorship consultants, Team GB, Vancouver 2010