Sponsors at Sochi 2014 – pitching to get a return

Sponsors at Sochi 2014

The amount invested globally by sponsors such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Electric, Visa, Samsung and more is about US$30 billion over a four year cycle. Members of the IOC’s The Olympic Partner (TOP) program such as Visa, which activated in 70 countries during the London Games, will activate in half that many during the Sochi Games. It is reckoned that for every $1 paid in sponsorship fees, companies must spend an additional $3 to $4 on things like new product launches or advertising campaigns. At the time of the Sydney 2000 Olympics that ‘rule of thumb’ was suggested to be more like $1 for $1.

For all sponsors, the big challenge and question is how and whether it will prove a good investment.

Coca-Cola, which developed a global marketing program around London, plans to concentrate its marketing in Europe, the US and Japan.   Sponsors will have assessed carefully the potential for their products in Sochi itself, and in Russia – and a number will need to divide their sponsorship monies this year between Sochi and the World Cup in Brazil.

Sochi 2014 has 10 worldwide Olympic partners:

  • Proctor & Gamble

Tagline: Pick Them Back Up

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57e4t-fhXDs

Featured Athletes: Lindsey Vonn and Evan Lysacek (Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pg-pick-them-back-up-sochi-olympics-ad-2014-1)

Speed skater Ivan Skobrev has become the ambassador for the P&G program "Thank you, Mom."

The injury to Lindsey Vonn and her subsequent withdrawal from Sochi competition will force a rethink at P & G about how to feature and use her most effectively. Her talents and attributes will continue to drive brand for P & G and for other who are sponsoring her, given that she is expected to recover and play prominently in future marketing campaigns. Vonn will remain part of the games and is expected to be seen a lot on NBC.

  • Samsung  

Samsung significantly leads the official Sochi partners, and currently has four times the brand affiliation with Sochi 2014 than that of McDonald's, and three times that of P&G and Coca-Cola. The company will hand out about 2500 Galaxy Note 3 phones to Olympic athletes in a clever promotion that will undoubtedly feature the popular smartphone lighting up the opening and closing ceremonies.


Tagline: Design Your Moment

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ROuWFb-deco

The company has sponsored Australian Olympians Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin and Scotty James and Paralympian Jessica Gallagher. Adverts feature Australian Snowboarder Alex 'Chumpy'. ‘Design Your Moment’ sees boarder cross snowboarder ‘Chumpy’ work with music producer Sampology to create a new track, ‘Show Me’.

Samsung has re-launched its ‘Samsung Stadium’ app, featuring comedic sports commentators Roy Slaven and HG Nelson. With Network Ten, Samsung will extend the broadcasting of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Twitter using its new Twitter Amplify service.


Tagline: Bring It Home

Video: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/samsung-canada-launches-sochi-2014-olympic-winter-games-bringithome-campaign-228692821.html


Samsung Electronics Co. is giving the Galaxy Note 3 smart phone to all athletes competing at the Sochi Games in February.

Tagline: I'm With You

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaQK034zJBk

Featured Athlete: Evgeni Malkin, Russian Ice Hockey Star

biathlete Evgeny Ustyugov, figure skaters Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Tatyana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, short track speed skater Tatyana Borodulina,

curler Liudmila Privivkova, and the famous Russian Paralympians – skier and Sochi 2014 Ambassador Sergey Shilov and snowboarder Serafim Pikalov




Samsung Electronics Co. is giving the Galaxy Note 3 smart phone to all athletes competing at the Sochi Games in February.


  • GE


Source: http://www.ge.com/europe/downloads/GE_plans_to_invest_31_07_12.pdf

RIA Novosti – Alexander Smotrov. The diversified international company General Electric (GE) plans to invest a total of $200 million to the projects within the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, said Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE in an interview with RIA Novosti. GE is one of the main partners of the International Olympic Committee through to 2020, carrying out the supply of energy, medical and other equipment for the Olympic facilities.


  • McDonald's

Tagline: Cheers to SOCHI

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n48_6SFRdfM


Featured Athletes: Patrick Kane, Louie Vito, and Shani Davis


  • Panasonic

Tagline: Feel the Passion

Video:     #1  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X03FUIKU3qg

               #2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvlZRzR4Bx0

               #3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qraSwtu39UQ

               #4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID2dYmJ01Ro

               #5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycDsi0B8IHc

Featured Athlete:

               Video 1: Shohei Tanaka/ China

Video 2: Team Maskiewich/ Canada

Video 3: Connor Spence/ Canada

Video 4: Amy Cave, Hannah Morrison/ Canada

Video 5: Masumi Hiroki, Soshi Tanaka/ China

  • Coca Cola

Investment: http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/winter-olympics/2014/14386-coca-cola-to-invest-3-billion-into-russia-in-sochi-2014-build-up

Coca-Cola to invest $3 billion into Russia in Sochi 2014 build-up.


Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXFoN-YqwbQ



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPKag4xhhvw – features Sergey Katsiev



Other Videos: http://www.activative.co.uk/sport/coca-cola-rolls-out-russian-torch-relay-happiness-sochi-2014-activation-8735


Features Hockey Player Alexander Ovechkin


  • Visa

Tagline: This is my everywhere.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1waBWlUrNCY

Featured Athlete: Sarah Hendrickson


  • Atos

Updates: http://atos.net/en-us/home/olympic-games/news-and-media.html

Video: http://atos.net/en-us/home/olympic-games/news-and-media/videos.html



  • Dow Chemical

Tagline:Dow's solutions take the stage, rising to the challenge, innovating solutions for a better tomorrow on the field of play and everyday life.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfUW9tenVOs&list=PL9yqnr8akhTH62QqP4XBIiDZOB5uYwiBt

Updates: http://olympicpartnership.dow.com/en/news/press-releases/2013/20131031a



  • Omega

Tagline: It’s part of our legacy.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh5aaEf_gOY

Info: On 7 February, 2013, OMEGA unveiled eight Countdown Clocks across Russia in celebration of the final 365 days to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. These Games will mark the 26th time since 1932 that OMEGA will assume the role of Official Timekeeper. As OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart says: "Timekeeping at the Olympic Games is a part of OMEGA's DNA; it's a part of our legacy". OMEGA looks forward to timing the world's finest winter athletes at Olympic Winter Games filled with tradition, culture and the spirit of modern Russia.


NBC is media partner of the IOC

Seth Winter, executive vice president of sales and marketing for NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal News Group said NBC is in its best ad sales position before a Winter Olympics in memory. Two weeks before the Sochi games, NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said that the network has brought in more than $800 million in ad sales revenue around the Olympics, “and we’re going north.” NBC expects to make a profit from the Sochi Games, for which it spent US$775 million in rights fees. Some expect NBC’s profit to well exceed US$1 billion.

NBC Universal’s plans to air 539 hours of coverage from Sochi (a 24% increase compared to the 434 hours devoted to the 2010 Vancouver Games).  For Vancouver, the top advertisers by far were AT&T and GE – and they are likely to be the leaders again for Sochi. The top categories in the 2010 Games were: automotive ($130.8 million), financial services ($68.4 million) and telecom ($58 million).

NBC’s ratings guarantee has not been made public. The withdrawal of injured athlete Lindsey Vonn will have an impact. Also, there is some concern about the ‘gay rights’ issue, how NBC will cover that and whether the network has a role to play in how the issues pans out. Through its reporting and indeed that of other media, coverage often comes off more as reactive than enterprising. For the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, NBC’s ratings guarantee for prime-time telecasts was a 14.0. During those Games, NBC pulled a 17.3 rating for the Opening Ceremony and a 13.8 average rating for its prime-time broadcasts.

NBCOlympics.com will offer around 1,000 hours of live streaming coverage, along with event rewinds and video highlights.

International Olympic Committee Marketing



Official Link:



Updates on Olympics Sponsorships

Coca Cola – Coca-Cola has been forced into the closet regarding its sponsorship of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. It has shut down an interactive feature that allowed people to put messages on Coke cans cheering the Olympic athletes. Nearly 500, 000 people signed Sumofus.org’s petition for Coca-Cola to publicly condemn Russia’s controversial anti-gay legislation.

Mc Donalds – McDonald's, meanwhile, has surrendered a hashtag meant to cheer on American athletes, #CheerstoSochi, which was taken over by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists. It's been used by people around the world — translated into Japanese, German, French and Russian — to highlight Russia's repression and the McDonald's Corporation's sponsorship of the Sochi games.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/olympic-sponsors-were-war_b_4679919.html


Are non-Olympic partners winning the "ambush marketing" race to Sochi 2014




MegaFon advertising campaign:

Russian mobile phone firm MegaFon plans to scan the faces of its customers, as well as visitors to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and show the portraits as giant pin art in the Olympic Village in February. The MegaFaces pavilion, concept pictured, will continuously change shape to show these different faces throughout each day.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2539962/Be-face-Winter-Olympics-Giant-3D-pin-portraits-visitors-beamed-size-building.html


Ten of top 15 brands associated with Sochi 2014 are non-Olympic partners


"Sochi 2014 Ambush Marketing Outlook", published by media tracking company Global Language Monitor, indicates that P&G, Samsung and General Electric currently lead the ten worldwide partners but trail behind non-affiliated firms such as Philips, Siemens and Adidas with less than six months to next year's Winter Games.

In the same top 20 list of the report – which analysed how often brand names were linked to the Olympics in global print and electronic media and social networks, worldwide Olympic partners occupied the bottom five places.

Moreover, some of the non-official partners identified as having an association with Sochi 2014 compete head to head with worldwide Olympic partners in the marketplace, such as IBM Global Services – a competitor of Atos Origin, Pepsi and Red Bull versus Coca-Cola, and DuPont against Dow Chemical.

This "ambush marketing" can mount to hundreds of millions of dollars in value, according to Global Language Monitor, which puts the cost of being an official Olympic partner as almost $1 billion (£640 million/€760 million) over each four-year Olympiad.


Cost of Advertising

Global Language Monitor put the cost of being a top Olympic partner at more than US$1 billion over the four year period between Summer or Winter Games. That cost includes rights fees payable to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the cost of advertising, merchandising and other marketing activities.

"Fully freighted, the cost of being a Top Olympic partner can approach US$1 billion (£609 million/€735 million) over an entire Olympiad, or the four year period between Summer or Winter Games," read the report.

"This cost includes the IOC [International Olympic Committee] rights fee, associated business development and the cost of advertising, merchandising, and the many other marketing activities undertaken by the Top Sponsors.

"Most of the Top Sponsors have signed multi-Olympic contracts that include Summer, Winter and Paralympics.

Additional Info for cost of advertising

Corporations pay an estimated US$100 million to become a major Olympic sponsor. On top of this, they pump massive investment into related marketing campaigns.

IMD business school president Dominique Turpin said for every $1 paid in sponsorship fees, companies must spend an additional $3 to $4 on things like new product launches or advertising campaigns.

Source: http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/29/news/companies/sochi-sponsors-investment/


Branding Battle

Not all of the non-affiliated brands were ambush marketers, those who deliberately attempt to link their names to the Games, but rather benefiting by size and reputation before advertising campaigns by official sponsors kicked in.

Companies like energy drink Red Bull, a rival of Olympic sponsor Coca Cola, are active in several sports including Formula One where they are the reigning world champions.

Sochi has a grand prix scheduled for next year and Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel visited the Olympic Park location in May.

"Companies like that are good at leveraging whatever it is they are connected to other sports," Payack told Reuters from Austin, Texas.

The IOC is fiercely protective of its symbols and mascots, even limiting word pairings and combinations that could be seen as referring to the Games.

Rule 40 of the Olympic charter also forbids athletes from taking part in advertising for anyone except sponsors during games.



Nike vs Adidas

UK Athletics switches to Nike after legal battle with Adidas

The seven-year agreement, believed to be worth £15 million plus with value in kind elements, will start in January next year and follows the court rejection of a claim by Adidas that its contract with the national governing body, which had been in place since 2005, gave it the right to match any sponsorship offer from another company.

A number of British athletes already have their own contracts with Nike, the most prominent being double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Nike also sponsors Dai Greene, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Adam Gemili and Holly Bleasdale, while Jessica Ennis-Hill and Christine Ohuruogu both have deals with Adidas

Source: http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/athletics/1015862-uk-athletics-switches-to-nike-after-legal-battle-with-adidas

NIKE Ad Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RzRm9–UmPw


Columbia Sportswear unveils 2014 Olympics uniforms for the U.S., Canadian and Russian Freestyle Ski teams

Nike and Adidas also are involved in outfitting federations for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Nike sponsors the U.S. Olympic Committee and 22 hockey federations, including the U.S., Russian, Canadian, Czech and Slovak federations. Nike also is providing medal stand apparel for the U.S. team.

Adidas, which has its North American headquarters in Portland, is outfitting the German team with presentation wear, shoes and accessories as well as several other teams. The US biathlon and luge teams will wear Adidas footwear. The Canadian team wears Adidas training gear.

Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks-profits/index.ssf/2014/01/columbia_sportswear_unveils_20.html

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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