Coca-Cola tops Olympics list

NEW YORK: Coca-Cola and McDonald's garnered the most media coverage (traditional and new media) between July 1 and July 14 of all the 12 global sponsors participating in the Beijing Olympic Games, according to the Dow Jones Insight - 2008 Olympics Media Pulse.

NEW YORK: Coca-Cola and McDonald's garnered the most media coverage (traditional and new media) between July 1 and July 14 of all the 12 global sponsors participating in the Beijing Olympic Games, according to the Dow Jones Insight - 2008 Olympics Media Pulse. The service tracks international English-language media, including about 2 million blogs, 13,000 news sites, and 6,000 print outlets, wires, and broadcast news outlets.

Coca-Cola received 257 mentions, or 24% of the total 1,062 that involved the sponsors, and McDonald's received 162.

Both companies were helped by marketing tie-ins, like Coke's commemorative cans, and McDonald's relationship with Tyson Gay, a sprinter on the US track and field team who came in number three as the most mentioned US athlete in the media during this time.

Mentions of Coke were previously tied to controversy related to the torch relay protests.

"It's not that the sponsors were negative, but they were being mentioned in a context that was negative," said Glenn Fannick, product development manager with Dow Jones Factiva. "It's almost guilt by association, which is a risk of sponsoring something like this."

Also in the top five are GE, Visa, and Samsung. Lenovo, the only Chinese company among the 12, received 5% of the mentions.

The environment also remains a hot topic in Olympics coverage. From July 5 through July 8, the tracking system found a fourfold increase in coverage of the environment - from 50 mentions of environmental issues to 236 - due to reports of pollution, concern about the health of the athletes, and other stories.

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