The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics kicked off last Friday after a year-long delay due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. A completely different event to years previous, with no foreign spectators allowed inside the games and with a more sustainable and inclusive approach, we take a look at some of the Olympic Sponsorships from over the years and what brands are doing at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Coca-Cola were the very first commercial sponsor, with 104 years under their belt and are the exclusive rights holder in the non-alcoholic beverage category for the Olympic Games.
In previous years, Coca-Cola have branded their bottles with the Olympics Rings, other years they have changed the colour of their branding and entertain fans with interactive activations in host cities. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Coca-Cola reached 500 million social media impressions for its #ThatsGold Campaign and welcomed 180,000 visitors to its ‘Parada Coca-Cola’ Olympic Park Campaign.
As part of this campaign they installed a ceiling of bubbles bursting from a Coca-Cola bottle, that lit up gold when an athlete won a gold.
For the 2020 games they have extended their sponsorship even further and made a commitment to the Paralympic Games as a Worldwide Paralympic Partner with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). This means they will also hold worldwide category marketing rights to the IPC and the Paralympic Games and will help communicate the impact of the Paralympic Movement to a whole new audience.
AirBnB are one of the most recent Olympic Partners and with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) they are bringing people together with exclusive online experiences via their website.
From connecting with competing athletes to reliving iconic moments or discovering new sports, users lucky enough to book one of the exclusive offers on Airbnb’s website will be able to personally meet with their idols – these include Scottie Pippen, Rika Saito, John John Florence, Pita Taufatofua, Sky Brown, Jonny Brownlee, Michael Johnson, Alice Dearing, Jonny Brownlee, Alex Honnold, Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davies and plenty more! Check it out here
Samsung has been a local Sponsor since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, joining as a Worldwide Olympic Partner a decade later.
At the Games this year, Samsung supplied each competing athlete with a Samsung Galaxy S21 5G mobile device, hoping to connect athletes and offer a new way for consumers to experience the games in a safe manner. The exclusive smartphones are pre-loaded with apps including the Japanese Government Contact Tracing app, COCOA, which will notify athletes if they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, while ensuring anonymity for privacy, and Athlete365, which supplies athletes with resources, programmes and supports available to each athlete throughout the games. The phone also features a pro-grade camera, allowing the athletes to share and capture their experience with exceptional quality and speed.
Samsung have also launched a virtual experience – The Samsung Galaxy Media Centre, where fans and media have the opportunity to connect with the Games by watching Team Galaxy activations, read real-time news, and make use of the augmented reality platforms Samsung have developed and powered by Samsung Galaxy 5G.
The e-commerce giant Alibaba is another newcomer, joining the Sponsorship in 2017, they are introducing new technologies and innovations to improve the athlete and consumer experience. Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure and services will play a huge role in the Games, collaborating with the Olympics Broadcasting Services (OBS) to develop OBS Cloud, which reduces costs, staffing and equipment needed on-site, while creating and distributing Olympic coverage in real-time by working off a cloud network remotely.
They have developed exclusive services for media professionals to watch, download, edit, distribute and live stream press conferences and even created a wearable pin, to connect like-minded media professionals and engage together in a safe and interactive manner.
Alibaba also helped launch the first-ever Olympic store on Tmall, China’s largest B2C marketplace for brands and retailers. Through this online store, visitors can purchase Olympic products and licensed collections, ranging from fashion apparel to pins and other memorabilia.
Omega SA, the swiss luxury watchmakers have stuck with a more traditional partnership with the Games and there is nothing wrong with that! By providing timepieces for the Games; their logo is clearly displayed across starting blocks, touchpads in swimming pools and scoreboards. They also provide timing, scoring, Venue Results Systems and Services, and real-time information, such as live positions during races, live speed, acceleration, deceleration and total distance for the Games. In recent years, devices such as motion sensors and positioning systems have been developed by Omega to provide more detailed and accurate information on athletes performances.
Visa are the exclusive payments service provider for the Olympics and have secured their partnership until 2032. They also provide programmes that support over 500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes through Team Visa both on and off the field.
This year to include fans who are missing out on physically attending the Games, Visa launched the Visa Awards campaign asking fans to choose their favourite athlete moment and join them in celebrating the best of humanity at Tokyo 2020. This encourages fans to engage and feel connected to the Games when the opportunity to attend in person is not available.
Vote now for the Visa Award to celebrate the best of humanity at Tokyo 2020!— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) July 26, 2021
This Award recognizes moments that embody Visa’s belief that a more inclusive world uplifts everyone, everywhere and our shared values of friendship, inclusion, acceptance and courage. #TheVisaAward
In circumstances like no other, it is great to see Sponsors doing their utmost to harness technology to benefit every element of the Games and to support inclusion and sustainability with such force and pride. This gives a positive outlook into the future of events and we can’t wait to see what the next few weeks of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring!
Verve is an agency celebrating 30 years at the top of the events, experiential and marketing industries. This podcast pulls from that wealth of experience, giving key insights from the past, tips for the future, and everything in between.
You can listen to all of The Verve Experience episodes here: https://audioboom.com/channels/5045240
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