Despite of financial crisis, sports sponsorship remains a bonanza for businesses and to connect their image of company to the values of Olympism. In these Olympic Games of London 2012 despite that Europe in general and United Kingdom in particular lives an austerity age, the most important companies in the world and linked to Sports and the Olympics, have wanted to make a big effort and obtain budgets to fund these Olympic Games. Although the expense is large (for example it has been estimated that adidas has spent about 100 milloins sterling Lobras), incomes being generated (26.000 million of euro according to Lloyds TSB) and generated in the short term were more than sufficient to recover the initial investment. In order to rationalize expenditures, in London 2012 the BTL campaigns have acquired a great weight comparing with Beijing 2008. Company websites, facebook, Twiter and Youtube were the base of their digital marketing campaigns.
The main official sponsors awee the following:
- Worldwide Olympic Partners: Coca Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, General Electric, Mc Donalds, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung and Visa
- London 2012 Official Olympic Partners: adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds
- London 2012 Official Olympic Supporters: Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Tomas Cook and UPS
- London 2012 Official Olympic Providers and Suppliers: Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, The Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GlaxoSmithKline, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heinenken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Nature Valley, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscam Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westdield
However BrandWatch Agency revealed that Nike is the brand most associated with London 2012 on Internet. Nike was mentioned in 7.7% of the conversation on Internet about London 2012. Clearly the figure was bigger than adidas which appear in 0.49% of mentions, the sport brand´s official International Olympic Committee for many years.HSBC is ranked on second position with 0.68%. Coca Cola and British Airways are in the following positions.
We gonna be focus on official sponsorships and those campaigns more importants and relevants by them.
Coca Cola, BP and Deloitte have been the only companies that invested in creating a new website focus on Olympics Games of London 2012. The results of their efforts are visible. Coca Cola and BP have the best websites. Their websites ( incluir ambas) were attractive, with great usability and management, moreover they had a good degree of persuadability. The best one was Coca Cola website. Coca Cola created a CokeZone where it share us photos, news, gaven us the opportunity to win prizes and rewards. Finally it used this website also to increase our awareness of it most important product in UK: Coca Cola, Diet Coke and Zero Coke. In order to have the choice to win regards and prizes, users had to be registered on its login area.
Both companies emphasized the sustainability of the London 2012 Olympic Games. BP showned on its website and in its business strategy that increasingly it had more investments focus on renewable energy. On the other hand, Coca Cola was working closely with London Organasing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to meet their shared ambition to deliver London 2012 sustainably. Coca Cola´s drinks were served on 100 per cent recyclable PET plastic bottles into its PlanBottle initiative. According with Coca Cola “We are ensuring our sponsorship of London 2012 is zero carbon by reducing emissions from our operations, and will compensate for the remainder by purchasing Gold Standard carbon offsets. We have invested in a state-of-the-art low carbon warehouse and a fleet of biogas vehicles – which between them are cutting the carbon of our distribution system for the Games by a third”.
British Airways, meanwhile, captured the public imagination with#homeadvantage, BBH London campaign, which had the surprasing slogan of “no fly”, urging people to stay home for the Olympics. The airlines´s website allows users to customize their television program listings by entering your zip code to see a plane flying down the street, which has proven to be a viral hit.
Facebook was also important but not much in their official facebook account. In this case it wasn´t heavily used by non-sport official sponsors. Hardly comment news or Olympic results. In facebook adidas was the leader. Both adidas and adidas originals were focus their efforts on enhancing competition on the results of adidas´sportsmen and sportwomen. In this sense, adidas was ahead of Nike concerning to develop its brand strategy on social media. Yohan Blake, Andy Murray, Jeremy Wariner, David Beckham and Stella McCartney were some of the most important icons of adidas in London 2012.
Twitter was the king of social media tools in London 2012, but in regard to athletes, not companies. Every official sponsors refer to everything that happened in London 2012 but fleetingly. Adidas, as in the previous case, was the most user of Twitter to comment and report news, its products and the success of their athletes.
Comparing traditional and social media marketing strategies by Dow Jones Insight thorough one study realized before to the beginning of London (between 1 and 23 of July in US), shows us that McDonald’s and Coca Cola were the frontrunners in both traditional and social media overall. However, taking a closer look, P&G – as the third share of voice charts illustrates – took 48% of the Twitter coverage during the same reporting period. McDonald’s and Coca Cola garnered 27% and 11% respectively. This is a bit unexpected as the Twitter sphere generally follows the trend shown in the traditional and overall social media space.
The weight of both media (offline and online) did not diverge much in number of comments about the brand and its binding to the Olympics in London, ATL or BTLeither. What was most striking was the commitment of P&G in social media tools and as a result obtained with a higher number of mentions and Coca Cola drop of 4 percentage points for McDonalds in Social Media.
In conclusion, we can say that London 2012 were the first Olympic Games in the history where web 2.0 to sponsors initiated to be relevant, although not all tools werre used equally. For sports brands, Twitter and facebook were the base, while for other sponsors were their website. Coca Cola is still the leader in branding strategy, as demonstrated by its websites http://www.cokezone.co.uk/.