Non-sponsors take advantage of stringent Olympic rules

Tight regulation of sponsorship around the Olympic Games has actually allowed non-sponsors to take advantage, sports communicators have argued in PRWeek's latest podcast.

The Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch

With the eyes of the world set to be on the Olympic Games for tonight's opening ceremony, this week’s PRWeek podcast looked at how brands had leveraged the event.  

And in the wake of Lord Coe’s apparent confusion over visitors to the Games being able to wear Nike trainers into events, Hope&Glory creative director Gavin Lewis said: ‘It's right that Seb Coe and everyone has being trying to protect the brands that have invested so much money in the Games. But in being so strict about in what can be done, they’ve almost made a rod for their own back in the sense they have allowed other brands to get in.’

Lewis pointed to Pepsi’s positioning of itself as the underdog compared with sponsor Coca-Cola, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Anthony Scammell agreed that it had helped brands such as Paddy Power and Oddbins.

However, the senior associate director for sports marketing and sponsorship added that the high profile nature of the event mean it is a difficult balance to achieve.

His words follow on from PRWeek’s reputation survey, which showed that many sponsors had succeeded in linking themselves to the Games in the minds of the public.

Both Lewis and Scammell agreed that of the sponsors, Adidas was a standout in terms of its work in the build up to the event, while P&G and BAA were also praised, among others.

Scammell also pointed to the importance of social media in what has been branded the first ‘digital Games'.

He pointed to the role of digital and social media as becoming increasingly important when the athletes begin to make the news themselves.

‘There’s only limited space in the newspapers or on television and once the Games starts that will be dominating the agenda and this is another channel open to brands to get their messaging across,' he said.

'Successful campaigns are borne out of repeat messaging through multiple channels.’

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