Out Of The Many Winners At The Olympics, The Biggest Winner May Have Been Commerce

Whenever the Olympics roll around, people tend to get excited. If you are a citizen of the nation hosting the contest, you may be particularly thrilled. If you are an athlete that has qualified to participate, going to the Olympics is like a dream come true. However, even with all of these winners one might argue that commerce is the biggest winner of all.

Companies Purchase Sponsorships

Many companies become official sponsors of the Olympic Games because they understand the intense draw the games have on people around the world. Television viewers were estimated at nearly five billion over the course of the 2008 games in Beijing. As a marketing opportunity, the Olympics has a special appeal. The chance to have one's product or brand viewed by so many people in such a short amount of time is one of the reasons that a company may purchase a sponsorship.

How Much Does a Sponsorship Cost?

The actual cost of becoming an official sponsor of the Games is a secret that is guarded both by the Olympics organizers and the companies that procure sponsorships. Speculation is that the 2012 games netted around $100 million dollars per sponsor for a deal lasting four years that allows a particular sponsor to be the only one in that category. That price would not include the promotion of the sponsorship or the cost of actually participating at the Games. It does include giving the company the authority to use the Olympic-ring symbol in their advertising and on their products.

Benefits of Sponsorship

Companies who purchase a sponsorship definitely get to enjoy the limelight and excitement that are produced by the Games. Being associated with the Olympic rings is quite prestigious. In addition, it helps people understand that the company actually cares about doing things to help others. People believe that the athletes participating are good people and that companies that help those athletes make their dreams come true are good companies. People see the rings on the products and get more and more excited for the games. They are glued to the television screen whether it is a medal's race or an advertisement.

Sponsoring a Particular Athlete

For companies that don't want to become an official sponsor, there are other ways to connect to the games. One way to do that is to sponsor a specific group of athletes or one particular athlete. This is easier for companies that are connected to sports in one way or another. For instance, companies that sell athletic clothing, sports gear, or even swimsuits find that the Games create a natural avenue for advertising. Other types of companies find ways around the connection with sports. They may go for something that connects them to the theme of the Games. They may create ads about the athlete that is their spokesperson or about the way the Games bring people closer. The trick is to be sure that the athlete matches the service or product being sold.

What Companies Look for in Athlete Endorsements

Finding the right fit can be a bit tricky for companies looking for sponsorship. For instance, an athlete that always listens to music before competing may be a good fit for a company that sells music or headphones but may not be right for a company selling kitchen appliances. Companies look for such things as the image of the athlete, his or her likability, their name recognition, or their personality. In addition, companies want to go with athletes that are winners. However, many companies try to sign up athletes before they win the gold and their popularity and price go up. There is also a risk to sponsoring an individual athlete because there may be something that they have done in the past that comes to light or they may do something in the future that presents a negative image. When this type of thing happens, sponsors are quick to let athletes go.

All in all, many companies profit from their promotion of athletes and teams involved in the Olympic Games. Whether the athlete's face is on cereal boxes, Olympic pins, hats, pre paid cards, soda pop cans or T-shirts, there are crowds of people who want to have a piece of the Olympics because it gives them a piece of history.

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