The sponsorship is everywhere. Initially I started this post wondering how much Coca-Cola will be consumed in Rio during the course of the Olympic games, but Google couldn’t answer that. Instead, the Coca Cola official website informs me that ‘more than 1.9 billion servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day.’ Wow! Think of the sound of the cash tills ringing that little lot up. Now wonder Coca-Cola is an Olympic ‘partner’. It can afford to be!
So what else is being sold in Rio 2016?
Well there are apparently 7.5 million tickets to all the sporting events, which is slightly fewer than London. It’s unclear whether these have all been sold thus far. My guess is that they may not be for three reasons:
1. Fear of terrorism particularly from the West
2. Fear of the Zika virus
3. There’s so much poverty in Brazil, many of the locals can’t afford to attend.
But, I may be way off the mark there.
The cheapest tickets available to be sold in Rio are around a tenner, and the most expensive are £1100+. Whew! Possibly for the men’s 100 metre final? That’s the gold ticket event, isn’t it? The average monthly salary in Brazil is £520! Street events such as road cycling and the marathon can be watched for free, but when you look at these figures for wages and understand that there are many Brazilians out of work, it’s no wonder there’s been so much protest.
Who has invested in Rio 2016?
Another point of interest, and call me a grouchy old cynic here, is the list of investors in the Olympics this time around. What’s being sold at Rio 2016 in terms of favours? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. The major investors include:
1. The EBX Group which is comprised of six companies: OGX (oil), MMX (mining), OSX (offshore industry), and CCX (coal mining). These companies are controlled by the Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista. Invest and the Brazilian government will look the other way at some dubious measures of fossil fuel extraction. Possibly? I could be wrong – the group also invest heavily in and has initiatives in real estate, technology, entertainment, sports and gold mining, and the air and rail catering sectors.
2. Eike Fuhrken Batista da Silva: a Brazilian business magnate (as above) who made and lost a fortune in mining and oil and gas exploration has personally invested. He is the seventh wealthiest person in the world.
3. Bradesco – one of the biggest banking and financial services companies in Brazil. Currently the third largest Brazilian bank by total assets.
4. Odebrecht Organization – a Brazilian conglomerate consisting of a number of diversified businesses in the fields of engineering, construction, chemicals and petrochemicals.
5. Embratel – a major Brazilian telecommunications company headquartered in Rio de Janeiro.
6. LATAM Airlines Brasil.
What’s being sold in Rio 2016? Worldwide Olympic Partners – Official sponsors
Coca Cola is the exclusive product partner for non-alcoholic beverages. There’s no Pepsi here! Coca-Cola has been involved in the Olympics since Amsterdam in 1928.
ATOS provides information technology, and ‘Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & Cyber-security solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry’.
Bridgestone Corporation, (Tokyo), is the world’s largest tyre and rubber company and supplies the official tyres for the Olympic Games, along with many industrial rubber, chemical products, sporting goods and bicycles. It has a commitment to sustainability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Bridgestone operates in alignment with its mission of ‘Serving Society with Superior Quality’ which share a common set of values with the Olympic Movement.
Dow – combining ‘the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress’. They work to provide solutions to problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. According to the Olympics official website, ‘Dow’s integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers’. I’m not entirely sure plastics are essential to human progress, but what do I know?
GE – infrastructure solutions and technology. ‘GE has a large portfolio of solutions that can help build the infrastructure required for the city to be able to host the event, among which: energy generation and distribution systems, image diagnostics, monitoring technology and electronic medical records, lighting systems, aircraft engines, water and sewerage treatment installations and services, equipment and transport management, and others.’
McDonalds – Since 1968, the company has provided its ‘menu of choice and variety to millions of athletes, their coaches, families and fans.’
Omega – Time pieces (for example, watches, clocks and official countdown clocks) Well, I have to say that’s the most useful so far!
Panasonic – Audio/TV/Video Equipment. Panasonic is providing ‘state-of-the-art digital audio/video equipment, such as flat screen TV, digital video camera, DVD recorder, and professional audio/video equipment’ but it doesn’t say to whom. Probably not the athletes, their coaches or families.
Proctor and Gamble : Personal care and household products
Samsung – Wireless Communications Equipment
Visa – Consumer Payment Systems (credit cards, etc.)New this year – Amendments to Rule 40
Rule 40 was brought in to protect the rights of Olympic sponsors to intellectual property associated with the Olympic games. This includes things like the Olympic Rings branding, or any imagery associated with the Games, such as someone winning Gold etc. or even the terminology used.
Why has this been done? Well take Panasonic (above) It costs them somewhere in the region of $200 million to sponsor a four-year cycle or $350 million for eight years. That’s a lot of wonga. They want to be associated with the Olympics in order to claw some of that money back.
The problem has been that some brands such as Nike, run marketing campaigns that ambush the official sponsors by cashing in on the Olympics even though they aren’t paying sponsorship (to the Games themselves, they may well be sponsoring athletes). Dr. Dre gave out free headphones to U.S. basketball athletes in 2008 and British and other swimmers in 2012, knowing full well they would be worn and seen on TV screens across the world.
Rule 40 therefore has prohibited athlete endorsement of “non-official” sponsors, who are also not able to use terms such as “Olympics,” “Effort” or “Performance.” Previously the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Rule 40 imposed a blackout period throughout the Games for any type of “non-official” advert.
However, now the IOC has relaxed the rules for who have commercial deals with firms that are not official Olympic sponsors and they will now be allowed to appear in promotions for their brands during the Rio 2016 period. In the case of the UK, as long as advertising campaigns were up and running by 27 March, and were approved by the British Olympic Association, they can continue throughout the duration of Rio 2016 (hence the Aldi adverts we’ve been seeing in the UK, I suspect, and Usain Bolt for Virgin Media, Mo Farah for Quorn).
However, certain restrictions will remain in place, with certain phrases still banned, including “Olympic”, “Rio”, “gold” and “Games”.
Over to you
If you could sell one thing at the Rio Olympics 2016 and make your fortune, what would it be? Come and chat on Facebook or comment below 🙂