With Rio Olympics in mind, is it worth it being an official sponsor anymore?


The 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics have wrapped up mired with controversy from health and safety, doping or #LochteGate issues, to the ease of rule 40 sanctions and ambush marketing.  How justifiable is that approximate $200 million four year investment?


Sponsorship Buddy's take:

1) Stop, take a minute and name every official sponsor of the 2016 Olympics you can.  After many hours of watching and reading coverage as a savvy marketer, surely you've nailed a number of them?  Now and more importantly, are you swayed more to purchase from any on this list? It's never that easy, but perception is often reality and general perception of these Olympics has been messy regardless of athletic outcomes, which does not bode well for its most prominent backers in official partners. 

2) Marketing trends shift quickly (here's a British partnership approach and results). Is that the reason the surrounding city isn't inundated with brands competing for attention this time around? Or is it the Zika, fires, water issues, or other concerns leading to record numbers of sponsors turning in tickets to the most high profile events? Sure, everyone's moving digital where returns are much easier to track. That stuff happens in developing countries which will theoretically be better off with all of the influx of capital into the market when all is said and done.  Chalk it up to more doubt about R.O.I. on the "official sponsor" package this time around, though.

3) Less is more has been the sponsorship trend that's become a best practice, but with it comes a higher price tag.  The tab on organizing an Olympics is high, though (to the tone of $7.4 BILLION).  Considering how easy it's become to ambush official sponsors for great results as Nike cleverly did to trump official sponsor adidas in 2012, something has to give.  The IOC will have to continuously be ahead of the curve in the packages carved out in order to maintain such a price tag, but that might be too much to handle.

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