OLYMPICS:
AN OPPORTUNITY
FOR BRANDS


The 2016 Summer Olympics, commonly known as Rio 2016 is a major multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympics Games that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5th to 21st August 2016. A record number of countries are participating in as many as 306 events in 28 sports, wherein more than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are scheduled to participate. Olympics is a very exciting time for brands to create an impact on their target audience and showcase their creativity.

With Olympics around the corner, the brands have a great challenge to leave a lasting impression on the audience, they have to extrapolate the sport while advertising their brand and also add an entertainment factor to their campaigns so that it connects to their target audience. While associating themselves with Olympics brands use energy, opportunity, victory, hard work, efforts as their themes and connect their products to Olympics and the participants. The advertising agencies need to make real and regular efforts to get brands into the minds and hearts of the consumers.



Rio Olympics bring opportunity for brands to build and maintain a positive image and take their brand identity to the next level. This is an opportunity where brands can target new audience. Rio Olympics is also a great opportunity for sponsors’ like Coca- Cola, Atos, Bridgestone, Dow, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung and Visa among others to enjoy the limelight. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) shook up the rules for advertising for Rio 2016 with its announcement of changes that opened the doors for more brands to gain benefit from their allegiance to the game, even if they are not one of the official sponsors. With new rules have come new restrictions and has changed the sponsorship and marketing pattern for the games.

In past Olympics, under the IOC's Rule 40, official sponsors like McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and Visa had a lock on advertising during the games. Athletes were restricted from tweeting about non-official sponsors, and non-sponsors were not allowed to feature Olympic athletes that they had sponsorship deals with in ads. It was in February 2015 when the IOC announced changes to the rule, which were adopted by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in June 2015. These changes now allow athletes to feature in generic advertising that does not mention the games or use any Olympic intellectual property (the Olympic rings and terms such as "Olympics" "2016" "Rio," "games" and "gold" are off limits). Athletes also are now allowed to tweet about non-official sponsors provided they don't use any Olympic Intellectual Property (IP)

IOC’s Rule 40 states what can be seen and said in the days before and during the world’s largest international athletic games. In an effort to improve its relationship with athletes, IOC has allowed any non-official sponsors an opportunity to compose advertising campaigns tailored to Olympic athletes, as long as they do not include any Olympic symbols or mention certain terms. Under Armour, which is not an official Olympic sponsor but sponsors 250 Olympic athletes, including Michael Phelps was quick to take advantage of the relaxed Rule 40. The brand's "Rule Yourself" campaign features an emotional spot with the U.S. women's gymnastics team and a Cannes award-winning spot with Phelps that shows the most decorated athlete in Olympic history as he trains for his last games. Both ads comply with Rule 40: They were launched before the March deadline, and neither contains any Olympics IP.

While global brands have already been marketing in Brazil ahead of Rio Olympics, the activity in the UK kicked off 100 days before the opening ceremony. Visa, Olympic partner since 1986, significantly moved up its advertising schedule releasing ads in June. Many famous brands have put in a lot of efforts and started brand campaigns linking them to the Olympics. Coca-Cola’s #That’sGold moment campaign has announced hurdling sensation and Olympic medal hopeful Michelle Jenneke s #That’sGold ambassador in Australia to encourage Australians to share their #That’sGold moment. While, Nissan is seeking to bring fans close to Team GB and Paralympics GB with films that give fans the opportunity to experience first-hand the team’s intense training regime. The car brand which is also the official automotive partner of the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association is also offering sports fans a chance to win tickets to the Rio 2016 games.

Lacoste has launched a ‘support the style’ video that is designed to be a powerful showcase of the “spirit, style and elegance” of Lacoste. The clothing brand hired choreographers to direct the ad, which follows a troop of hard core supporters through Paris. Procter & Gamble (P&G) is admiring the emotional strength involved in motherhood in its 2016 Olympic campaign. The new ad, Strong, is a part of the FMCG giant’s 10 year sponsorship of both the Winter as well as Summer Games under the title ‘Thank You Mom’. The campaign started in the run in London 2012 and will continue up to Tokyo 2020. When most of the brands are engaged in campaigning how could Adidas be left behind. The shoe brand’s creative director Stella McCartney has designed the Team GB and Paralympics GB kit in her signature modern aesthetic design. The sportswear brand said that the lightweight, breathable synthetic fabric is on an average 10% lighter than 2012, which will help athletes go “further and faster”. Adidas Team GB replica apparel has been made available with the Adidas website and sports retailers since 1st May.

Another Olympic sponsor Panasonic is celebrating Britain’s army of ‘Superfans’ in its Rio 2016 campaign. The brand is calling UK sports lovers to show their support for the nation’s athletes on social media by sharing “fun and passionate, wild and wacky” photos with the hastag #superfans. Kellogg’s which is Team GB’s official sponsor has started a #GreatStarts campaign that recreates iconic Hollywood wake-up scenes from movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off featuring past British Olympic medal winners Sir Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington and Louis Smith. The campaign activity includes a user generated content competition in which people will share their great starts for a chance to win a trip to Rio to see the Olympic Games. Some of the other campaigns are car Mini Cooper’s ‘Win Small Campaign’, McDonald’s also has started a contest named ‘Win When USA Wins Gold’ wherein when you purchase items that have under 400 calories you can win prizes, some as big as $25K and a trip to London. In this contest, an American athlete’s name appears on all food items that are less than 400 calories and if your Olympic athlete wins a gold medal, you win a prize. The ‘Take Part’ campaign by Samsung uses different apps and technologies to keep you up to date on everything that is happening during Olympics.

With so many brands taking active participation in campaigning and associating themselves with Olympics, Rio 2016 is certainly a golden opportunity for brands to take their identity to another level and create a fan base for themselves among a new target audience and reach larger masses. It is the right chance for them to showcase their creativity, uniqueness and innovation. Brands are taking full advantage of this and leaving no stone unmoved to stand out in the crowd and establish their individual identity.


While global brands have already been marketing in Brazil ahead of Rio Olympics, the activity in the UK kicked off 100 days before the opening ceremony. Visa, Olympic partner since 1986, significantly moved up its advertising schedule releasing ads in June. Many famous brands have put in a lot of efforts and started brand campaigns linking them to the Olympics. Coca-Cola’s #That’sGold moment campaign has announced hurdling sensation and Olympic medal hopeful Michelle Jenneke s #That’sGold ambassador in Australia to encourage Australians to share their #That’sGold moment. While, Nissan is seeking to bring fans close to Team GB and Paralympics GB with films that give fans the opportunity to experience first-hand the team’s intense training regime. The car brand which is also the official automotive partner of the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association is also offering sports fans a chance to win tickets to the Rio 2016 games.

Lacoste has launched a ‘support the style’ video that is designed to be a powerful showcase of the “spirit, style and elegance” of Lacoste. The clothing brand hired choreographers to direct the ad, which follows a troop of hard core supporters through Paris. Procter & Gamble (P&G) is admiring the emotional strength involved in motherhood in its 2016 Olympic campaign. The new ad, Strong, is a part of the FMCG giant’s 10 year sponsorship of both the Winter as well as Summer Games under the title ‘Thank You Mom’. The campaign started in the run in London 2012 and will continue up to Tokyo 2020. When most of the brands are engaged in campaigning how could Adidas be left behind. The shoe brand’s creative director Stella McCartney has designed the Team GB and Paralympics GB kit in her signature modern aesthetic design. The sportswear brand said that the lightweight, breathable synthetic fabric is on an average 10% lighter than 2012, which will help athletes go “further and faster”. Adidas Team GB replica apparel has been made available with the Adidas website and sports retailers since 1st May.

Another Olympic sponsor Panasonic is celebrating Britain’s army of ‘Superfans’ in its Rio 2016 campaign. The brand is calling UK sports lovers to show their support for the nation’s athletes on social media by sharing “fun and passionate, wild and wacky” photos with the hastag #superfans. Kellogg’s which is Team GB’s official sponsor has started a #GreatStarts campaign that recreates iconic Hollywood wake-up scenes from movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off featuring past British Olympic medal winners Sir Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington and Louis Smith. The campaign activity includes a user generated content competition in which people will share their great starts for a chance to win a trip to Rio to see the Olympic Games. Some of the other campaigns are car Mini Cooper’s ‘Win Small Campaign’, McDonald’s also has started a contest named ‘Win When USA Wins Gold’ wherein when you purchase items that have under 400 calories you can win prizes, some as big as $25K and a trip to London. In this contest, an American athlete’s name appears on all food items that are less than 400 calories and if your Olympic athlete wins a gold medal, you win a prize. The ‘Take Part’ campaign by Samsung uses different apps and technologies to keep you up to date on everything that is happening during Olympics.

With so many brands taking active participation in campaigning and associating themselves with Olympics, Rio 2016 is certainly a golden opportunity for brands to take their identity to another level and create a fan base for themselves among a new target audience and reach larger masses. It is the right chance for them to showcase their creativity, uniqueness and innovation. Brands are taking full advantage of this and leaving no stone unmoved to stand out in the crowd and establish their individual identity.

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