Today's Brandlympics round-up is brought to you by fencing, as celebrated in Google's daily logo salute to the sports of the London 2012 Summer Olympics:
Nike "Greatness" Unchallenged by LOCOG
Nike pushed right up against all the rules that the Olympic organizers have been saying protect its sponsors when it released a tongue-in-cheek campaign last week that featured athletes in London across the globe (except for England) with a British commentator noting that greatness wasn’t just happening at one particular place. It was clearly a sly bit of ambush marketing, tweaking the Games in London (and rival Adidas, the Games' official sponsor) and giving a shout-out to all the average-Joe athletes around the planet, which is amusing since Nike is partially responsible for the insane-celebrity athletic culture we all live in. According to the Guardian, London’s Organizing Committee has said that it won’t attempt to take any legal action against Nike. Why not? Well, the ad campaign technically doesn’t break any rules because it never mentions the Olympics by name and doesn’t suggest that it is a sponsor of the Games in any way. Whatever consumers want to think, well, that is their business. Hello, halo effect.
Nike Also Not in Denial About Team Egypt
Nike may not be an official sponsor of the overall Olympic Games but it is making sure that it gets its name attached somehow. Egypt’s chairman said the other day that the team would be wearing knockoff clothes made in China due to the huge expense for top-of-the-line materials. Nike then came swooping in to offer a free set of uniforms for the whole team, according to the Associated Press. “We are extremely happy that while these athletes are enjoying the greatest sporting event they will be able to wear genuine Nike product,” the company said in a statement. And it doesn’t hurt for publicity, either.
London bringing in kids and soldiers to fill seats
After all the hoopla about the Games in Britain for the last few years, you’d think that it would be impossible to get a single viewing spot at any of the events, including canoeing and table tennis. But, well, that’s not the case. There have been of empty seats and London organizers have been handing out tickets to schoolchildren and soldiers, the Washington Post reports. Locals were irked Saturday when even some of the big events, such as swimming and gymnastics, weren’t filled up even though they had been told previously that the events were sold out. Perhaps all those corporate tickets hadn’t been used up? And if you do score a ticket to the Games, please do not tweet unless it is an emergency. Reminder: Being a member of the #LochteNation is not an emergency.
P&G Pulling In Bucks, Moms
It hasn’t been an easy business climate to work in these past few years so corporations are obviously paying much closer attention to the return on investment they make from sponsorships and naming-rights deals. GE today reported that it stands to make about $100 million for powering the infrastructure at London 2012. And while Procter & Gamble has had some hard times financially recently, Reuters reports that the company’s Olympic sponsorship is paying off, with the expectation is that it will result in an extra $500 million in additional sales. Not too shabby. (That's P&G's London 2012 correspondent Shawn Johnson getting her hair done at the salon at the P&G pavilion, above; and Will and Kate lookalikes posing for photo opps at the P&G Family Home Pavilion below.)
Social Media Hurting NBC’s Surprises
You can’t stop social media, which is unfortunate for the producers at NBC, which is broadcasting the Games across umpteen channels as well as online. However, NBC covets the prime-time audience that tunes in to be guided through a greatest-hits smorgasbord by the unflappable and ever-tasteful Bob Costas. So some events have been shown on tape delay, an old-school method being used in an info-at-the-instant culture. Plenty of U.S. viewers, however, have been lodging complaints that the network is making viewing difficult to enjoy when consumers already know what happened thanks to the joys of social media. NBC is trying to have it both ways, sending results out via social media (and dabbling in new platforms such as Pinterest) and still broadcasting events as if they are happening live and hoping that those who don’t want to know what happened keep themselves in the dark until letting the blue glow of their TVs fill their desire to take in the info. Tell that to the #LochteNation. And the British journalist in California barred from Twitter for releasing an NBC exec's email address for complaints.
Coca-Cola Pushing Powerade at the Games
PepsiCo’s Gatorade has long been the dominant force in the sports-drink world, but Coca-Cola is using the Olympics to push its own Powerade to consumers worldwide. The brand's London 2012 "Pwer Through" campaign by W+K focuses on when athletes hit the wall and don’t feel that they can go on. But coaches the world over (and Powerade, of course) come through and give athletes a reason to push on.
BP Hailing the Behind The Scenes Home Team
BP created its own world event two years ago when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in about 4.9 million gallons of oil being released into the Gulf of Mexico. This year, the company is involved with a much happier event as an official sponsor of the London Summer Olympic Games. Their latest phase of the brand's London 2012 campaign “is honoring the unsung heroes behind the Olympic Games by using their photographs from a Facebook competition in digital outdoor ads,” according to CampaignLive.com. BP also gives a behind-the-scenes look in the video above at The Olympic Journey exhibition, including historical footage of some of the 16 featured Olympians including Steve Redgrave, Cathy Freeman and Kelly Holmes. And to cap its efforts, BP is also using the London 2012 platform to promote its efforts around biofuels.
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