What Does An Olympic Sponsorship Do For Brands?

Get ready: The London Olympics are coming in a few weeks. To be honest, I’m not much into the Olympics as a whole, although it was quite cool to be living in Atlanta in the Summer of 1996 when the games were there.

But it’s no secret that brands and marketers leap at the chance to be an official sponsor. So what’s in it for them? Prestige? Visibility?

One of the brands that has been criticized for sponsoring the Olympics is McDonald’s. An article on McDonald’s sponsorship of the Olympics points out that McDonald’s is the only restaurant that can sell fries (chips) at Olympic venues. Anyone else can only do it as a “Fish n’ chips” combo.

Regardless of what you think about McDonald’s food, they’ll likely be tying their brand to Olympic excellence. That’s generally the strategy for most marketers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll see more spots like this one, for Visa:

Does it make you feel better about Visa? Or are all the sponsor brands simply glomming onto a big event and enjoying the ride?

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.