We’ve all seen them – the Olympic commercials that literally have you sitting on the edge of your seat with clips of Michael Phelps’ amazing breast stroke or Usain Bolt’s lightning-fast speed. The next thing you know, you’re in line at McDonalds, ordering a sandwich and Coke, paid for with your Visa credit card. Oddly enough, these are three of the biggest sponsors for the Olympics.Worldwide Olympic Partners include the following: Coca-Cola, Atos, General Electric (GE), Omega, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Visa, Acer, Dow, McDonalds, Panasonic and Samsung. The 11 biggest corporate sponsors doled out nearly $1 billion for the rights to flaunt the Olympic seal during the London Games. We wanted to take a look at a few of the top food sponsors, providers and suppliers raising support for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Coca-Cola Company maintains the longest continuous relationship with the Olympics. The company first sponsored the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, and has supported every Olympic Games since. Coca-Cola continues to refresh Olympic athletes, officials and spectators with its beverages during the Olympic games.
Sure, it seems odd to correlate McDonald’s with an athletic event, but the brand name is definitely the most profitable and among the most supportive when it comes to the Olympics. McDonald’s became an official sponsor of the Olympic games in 1976 and has a longstanding commitment to the Olympic Movement. At the 1968 Olympic Winter Games, McDonald’s airlifted hamburgers to U.S. athletes competing in Grenoble, France, who reported they were homesick for McDonald’s food. Since then, the company has served its menu of choice and variety to millions of athletes, their families and fans. In 2004, McDonald’s announced the continuation of its TOP (The Olympic Partner) sponsorship for the next eight consecutive years through the 2012 Games.
Can’t watch the games without a beer in-hand. Heineken has become the official lager supplier for London 2012 games. With their “Paint London 2012 Green” slogan, Heineken has launched an online and outdoor activity marketing campaign; complete with guides to the 21 big screens across the UK, the Ultimate Guide to celebrating in London, postings from the ‘Fan Hub’ daily blog, fan gallery, fan Tweets and Olympic & Paralympic facts. There will be 590 concessions within the Olympic venues, of which 198 will be retailing draught Heineken. There will also be 755 draught taps in place to cope with a forecast throughput of over two million pints of Heineken throughout the 28 days of the Olympics and Paralympics. These will be served in Heineken branded pint to line plastic glasses, and they have about 2.5 million of these on standby.
Known for their wholesome snack value, Nature Valley couldn’t be more of a perfect fit as the official cereal bar supplier for the 2012 Olympic games. Nature Valley is the number one crunchy cereal bar brand in the UK & Ireland, and is available in several flavors including Oats n Honey and Canadian Maple Syrup. General Mills UK Managing Director Jim Moseley said: “Nature Valley is driving accelerated growth in the cereal bar category and we are proud to play our part in the 2012 Olympic Games. To become part of such a celebrated global event is a natural fit for a globally successful brand like Nature Valley.”
Social Media will also be a huge factor in Olympic buzz this year. Twitter has an Olympic Tracker specifically posting tweets from athletes in real-time. Two years ago, Olympic sponsor Procter & Gamble figured roughly 10% of the total Winter Games ad impressions that it left in the minds of consumers were from social media. Marc Pritchard, global brand-building officer of the London games, projects social media will account for roughly half its impressions.
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