The London Olympics 2012, set to be organised in the British capital from July 27 to August 12, has garnered £1 billion in sponsorships.

“Sports sponsorship is now a big business. Some very shrewd firms are investing substantial amounts. Their motives may include a splash of philanthropy but I suspect their analysts have done the arithmetic and decided this is a cost-effective way of getting their name in the public eye,” Mr Ije Nwokorie, Managing Director, Wolff Olins, the global brand consultancy firm entrusted with the task of branding the Olympics Games for the first time in the Games’ history.

In an interview to Business Line from London, quoting British media reports, he said the recent estimates suggest that the London Olympics 2012 is getting some £1 billion in sponsorship.

Asked if this branding could translate into expected business, particularly in the wake of question marks on sponsorships of McDonald, Coke, as also Dow Chemicals, on health issues, Mr Nwokorie said the 2012 brand is designed to work alongside the sponsors’ brands. “But we had no role in the selection of sponsors so (we) can’t really comment on that.”

Observing that cricket may be a “less attractive sport” to international audience than soccer, Mr Charles Write, Director, Wolff Olins, said 700 million people watched the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final.

“But the Olympics has the potential to trump both FIFA and cricket in terms of global appeal.” It is the global scale of the Olympics that makes it different and special, he added.

The Olympics is a globally recognised brand. Research just released said it’s the second most valuable brand in the world behind Apple.

(This article was published on July 23, 2012)
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