Beijing 2008: The Commercial Contest – Daniel Allen
From Asia Times Online:
As the Beijing Summer 2008 Olympic Games draw ever nearer, one event that is already underway is generating fierce competition. Eager to cash in on next year’s sporting extravaganza, Chinese and overseas corporations have been rushing to sign sponsorship agreements they hope will bring increased market access, brand awareness and monetary gain.
Companies have long traded on the feel-good spirit and massive viewing figures associated with the world’s most famous sporting occasion, but the Beijing Games are shaping up to break all records. For those who can catch a ride on the Olympic bandwagon, the exposure and potential financial rewards are high – more than 1 billion Chinese are expected to watch, not to mention a half-million international visitors and a worldwide viewing audience of 4 billion.
Describing the marketing frenzy that already surrounds the Games as an “orgy”, Tom Doctoroff, China chief executive officer of JWT, an international advertising giant, recently commented, “Every single company under the sun has, or is preparing, some kind of Olympic pitch.” Beijing’s organizing committee has vowed officially to present the “best-ever” Olympics – an event bigger, glitzier, better-organized and more lucrative than any other. Never before has a global sporting event been so entwined with commercial opportunity and profit.[Full Text]