Case Studies: How three non-sponsors used an Olympic theme to promote their brands


The bookmaker placed full-page ads in the national press and launched a major poster campaign promoting its sponsorship of 'the largest athletics event in London this year'. The brand was referencing its 'sponsorship' of an egg and spoon race in London, Burgundy, France and reinforced the campaign via media outreach. LOCOG instructed ad agency JCDecaux to take down the ads. After saying the ads were a clear attempt to cash in on the Olympics, LOCOG backed down, performing what Paddy Power said was a 'gold-medal-winning U-turn'. 


The off-licence chain promised a 30 per cent discount to all customers who turned up with products from non-sponsors, including iPhones, MasterCards, a half-melted Galaxy bar or a crumpled bill from British Gas. Selected branches featured Olympic-themed window displays. Oddbins MD Ayo Akintola said on the Huffington Post: 'Thanks to LOCOG, any business without the tens of millions of pounds required to join the cabal of multinational brand partners are reduced to the status of beggars on the gilded streets of the Olympic movement.'


The Scottish brewer launched a limited edition Olympic beer as part of a 'Never Mind the Anabolics' campaign. The 6.5 per cent proof India Pale Ale is wrapped in packaging that features Olympic-style rings or gold medals and is 'laced with performance-enhancing ingredients'. The IPA was launched to coincide with the Olympics. Brewdog has held a host of Olympics-themed events including a 'crap beer amnesty with an Olympic twist', where customers were invited to bring a bottle of Heineken (official sponsor) to swap and receive one-third off its new product.

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