Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Marketing the Olympic Games

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Marketing the Olympic Games

Article excerpt

"The Olympic Games are a positive force in marketing. Worldwide marketing expenditures increase as official sponsors and unofficial free-riders attach themselves to the Olympic logo, to particular sports, national teams or individual athletes. Global brands, in particular, see the Olympics and World Cup soccer as the two most important international sporting events; brand linkage to these events can boost brand awareness, preference and sales over competitors who cannot afford the global sponsorship prices set by the International Olympic Committee." John Quelch, Senior Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, 2008.

In sport, competing at the Olympic Games is considered by most athletes to be the pinnacle of their career. This global event transcends the political and cultural arena to create unforgettable moments for individuals--sports fans or otherwise--around the world. Until 1998 the Games were the reserved territory of amateur athletes, and organising committees struggled to make them happen every four years. However, since 1992, spurred by the presence of professional athletes, representing sponsorship and marketing opportunities, the Olympic arena has become a fabulous playground for marketers of all types. The Olympic brand has become an incredible commercial asset, and sponsors and other commercial partners compete for a piece of the Olympic dream, while consumers become gripped by Olympic fever.

The aim of this special edition is to examine the unique aspects of marketing activity surrounding the Games, and to provide researchers with interesting and relevant direction for future research. This volume includes five research papers and a case study, each chosen for its interest and its unique contribution to sports marketing and sponsorship research.

The activation process for an Olympic sponsor is exemplified in the case study which introduces this special edition: Coca-Cola China's Virtual Olympic Torch Relay programme at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (J. …

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