I find it hard to believe that the Olympic Games Closing ceremonies were already 2 months ago. I personally enjoyed an amazing three weeks in England during the festivities. The atmosphere in Olympic Park was amazing and one that I shall treasure forever. I was also excited to experience some of LOCOG’s Olympic partner activation first hand. While most of us don’t have the luxury of working with the large activation budgets that Olympic sponsors are blessed with, there are two takeaways that, regardless of budget, I believe any organization should strive for when considering activation:
1) Integration –Sponsorship has the ability to serve a wide range of business needs and should be embraced by an organization in its entirety. It can achieve so many business objectives many of which have historically been accomplished piecemeal through advertising, cause marketing programs, event sponsorships and corporate social responsibility efforts. Coca-Cola’s activation of London 2012 is a prime example of how an organization can create a single platform to deliver an integrated campaign supporting a broad range of business objectives. Their Move to the Beat campaign designed to target teens and fuse music and sport together was rolled out in over 100 countries across the world. The program incorporated not only the Torch Relay, but also included a global print and TV campaign, a feature length documentary, the iconic Coca-Cola Beat Box in the Olympic Park, and Games time refreshments. Coca-Cola also integrated their support for youth sports and nutrition programs around the world as well as their CSR recycling program which was responsible for recycling over 10 million bottles during 6 weeks around the games.
2) Think Outside the Box – There really isn’t anything terribly unique or new when it comes to sponsor benefits in agreements, but where the difference lies in how a sponsor activates a deal. The International Olympic Committee’s charter would seem to be quite clear, stating in rule 50 that “commercial installations and advertising signs shall not be allowed in the stadia”. The team at BMW however delivered an outside of the box plan for the stadium that involved the creation and use of ¼ scale remote control Minis that whizzed around the central area of the Olympic stadium, returning javelins, shots and discuses to competitors. The iconic silhouette of the Mini was unmistakeable but due to the fact that the Minis carried no specific branding, the IOC to passed the use of the cars. They proved to be a hit with the spectators as well as the media which provided BMW with additional awareness in an otherwise clean stadium and a boost for their estimated £40M deal with London 2012.
As kudos to BMW’s simple yet remarkably creative activation that delivered practicality and awareness I decided to Digg this article. I have also become a proud owner of a model Olympic Mini which sits next to my computer as a daily reminder as to how important it is to think outside the box.
What Olympic sponsorships made an impression on you and what were your sponsorship takeaways from London 2012?