PMG Digital Made for Humans

The World of Olympic Sponsorship

3 MINUTE READ | August 19, 2016

The World of Olympic Sponsorship

Author's headshot

Matthew Frosoni

Matthew Frosoni has written this article. More details coming soon.

It costs to be an Offical Olympic sponsor. Moving forward, Olympic Global Partners (which is the highest level of sponsorship) will spend a whopping $200 million for the right to associate themselves with the Olympics for a four-year period, or two Olympic Games. Obviously, this is a huge chunk of change for the International Olympic Committee. In fact, sponsorships account for 45% of Olympic Marketing Revenues.

Source: International Olympic Committee

Coca-Cola, which has supported the Olympic Games since 1928, and other Offical Global Partners have a leg up on competition when it comes to advertising during the Games. They are allowed to use trademarked terms such as “Olympics” and “Rio 2016,” and they are also allowed to use the Olympic logo alongside their brand logo in campaigns.

But what about those brands that don’t want to hand over $50 million per year on top of their already thin marketing budgets? Two words: Ambush Marketing. No brand is going to pass up the chance of advertising during one of the most globally engaging events, but they have to find a way to get around the IOC’s pesky Rule 40. Rule 40, for those who didn’t read it in full, basically says that brands that are not official sponsors may not use trademarked terms and/or images during the advertising blackout period (July 27 – August 24). Beginning this year, brands who are not sponsors of the Olympics are still not allowed to use trademarked terms/images, but they are now allowed to continue running existing campaigns that feature Olympic athletes.

Nike, who is not an Official Partner, launched its “Unlimited” campaign in June when it released a video featuring British runner Mo Farah. The brand has since produced 19 subsequent YouTube videos as part of the “Unlimited” campaign, featuring Olympians such as Alex Morgan, Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, and Simone Biles. Similarly, Under Armour launched its “Rule Yourself” campaign almost a year ago with videos featuring Tom Brady and Stephen Curry. However, within the past 5-6 months, UA changed its strategy to focus on the US Women’s Gymnastics Team and Michael Phelps, who is the face of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Stay in touch

Bringing news to you

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking and subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

One interesting thing to see is if the relaxation of Rule 40 will impact performance of the Official Global Partners. If Partners like P&G, Visa, and Samsung do not see adequate return on their enormous investments, they may apply pressure on the IOC to either A) lower the cost of Global Partnership or B) change Rule 40 back to its original state. If, however, the Global Partners are satisfied with their advertising performance during Rio 2016, this new version Rule 40 could be a win-win for both official and unofficial sponsors alike.

Related Content

thumbnail image

Campaigns & Client WorkSocial MediaPlatforms & MediaCompany NewsStrategy

PMG and Beats by Dre Win Award for TikTok Campaign

2 MINUTES READ | October 29, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer TrendsSocial MediaPlatforms & Media

Introducing the Social Audio Wars

6 MINUTES READ | April 27, 2021

thumbnail image

StrategyCreative DesignB2B MarketingPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

How Brands Can Stand Out With User-Generated Content

1 MINUTE READ | November 12, 2020

thumbnail image

Consumer TrendsSocial MediaStrategyPlatforms & Media

What to Know About Reddit

5 MINUTES READ | October 1, 2020

thumbnail image

What to Expect During Big Tech’s Big Week

5 MINUTES READ | July 27, 2020

thumbnail image

Understanding the Genius Bar Index

4 MINUTES READ | July 13, 2020

thumbnail image

How the Facebook Boycott (Most Likely) Ends

7 MINUTES READ | June 29, 2020

thumbnail image

Will UGC Be the Norm in a PostCOVID World?

6 MINUTES READ | June 26, 2020