Golden 25 - #20 - Olympic Marketers Face Challenges

(ATR) Leading sponsors put pressure on the IOC to increase youth appeal for the Olympics.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08:  Coca-Cola signs are seen at the ThatsGold Coca-Cola experience at Olympic Boulevard on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Coca-Cola)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Coca-Cola signs are seen at the ThatsGold Coca-Cola experience at Olympic Boulevard on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Coca-Cola)

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(ATR) Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are counting on results as the IOC seeks to attract younger fans to the Olympics.

The two food and beverage giants are among the consumer products companies in the dozen worldwide sponsors of the Games. Unlike B2B sponsors such as Atos or GE, the consumer oriented firms expect the Olympics to help deliver the young audiences that help drive the growth of business.

Olympics expert Thierry Borra, global sports chief Peter Franklin and senior VP Clyde Tuggle are watching out for Coke’s interests in the Olympics that extend over 88 years.

At McDonald’s John Lewicki, head of global alliances, is known for his prodding of the IOC to boost youth interest in the Games. How the IOC responds will certainly figure into forthcoming negotiations about renewal of the $100 million sponsorship, which runs to 2020.

Toyota formally launches its worldwide sponsorship in 2017, the first-ever global deal in the automotive category for the IOC. Usually a category reserved for national sponsorships, NOCs will have to end deals they have with other automakers – and hope that Toyota can fill the income lost.

For Timo Lumme and his team in the IOC Marketing Department, the challenge will be great in the next six years. Hardly a wisp of attention is being paid by the public to the 2018 Winter Olympics, 13 months away in otherwise unknown PyeongChang. Followed by Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing in 2024, the marketing brief for the IOC in Asia might be easier for the next six years. But three consecutive Games on the continent may make it difficult to maintain Olympic enthusiasm in the Americas and Europe.

Samsung, which scored well with its campaign in Rio de Janeiro, does have the chance to take the lead raising public awareness for the first Winter Olympics on its home turf in Korea.

Homepage photo: Getty Images

Written by Ed Hula.

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