Olympic Sized Branding Opportunity
By Jestelle Irizarry
The countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games is on, and Rio de Janeiro is preparing to welcome millions of people from around the world. The Olympics are a global property, reaching over 180 markets through TV and digital broadcasts, making the games not only the ultimate competition for athletes but for brands, too. Given the obstacles to overcome, getting in front of consumers can be as tough as walking away from the Games with a medal.
Although no advertisements are allowed in the stadium, nor may any logos be embellished on the athletes’ clothing, the Olympics are a huge branding opportunity. While the Olympic Partner Programme represents globally recognized brands, TOPs are not the only brands that have the chance to receive attention during the games. With the right creative strategy, any brand can take advantage of the opportunity the Olympics provides.
Bulova reached out to the San Jose Network (SJN), the largest independent network serving Latin America, for such a strategy. FIFA, like the IOC, has strict regulations while broadcasting the World Cup. SJN developed an advertising program that purposely omitted media placement at the stadiums (as they were not official sponsors), but rather leveraged high event attendee traffic flows at locations such as international airport terminals and airport access roads during the duration of games. Bulova was therefore able effectively target affluent men and women traveling to Brazil for the event.
As the official timekeepers of the British Premier League’s Manchester United, Bulova—with the help of SJN—was also able to leverage its sponsorship in strategically placed advertisements so World Cup supporters would associate the watch company with the game of soccer and the event. Fourteen Manchester United players from eight different countries took the pitch in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including England’s Wayne Rooney. Not only did the advertisements add tremendous value to the brand, the brand strengthened its relationship with Latin America.
The same opportunities are available to brands that act early for the 2016 Olympic Games.
With a little less than a year and a half left to prepare, brands hoping to maximize their presence at the Rio Olympics still have time to hone their approach. The pressure in 2016 will be greater than ever before to make sure the right messages are being delivered to the right people in the language they prefer. Even if brands aren’t one of the elite sponsors, they still have several opportunities during the games to target the traffic in Brazil during 2016.