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What’s an Olympic brand sponsorship actually worth?

The Olympics is a world-class, global event. Its popularity with the public is indisputable, its media coverage continues to grow, and it enjoys viral status on social media. Each Olympic Games in the event’s 150-year history has been historic, bringing with it innovation and change, not only in terms of the rules, disciplines, and organization, but also in terms of collaboration with partners and sponsors.

Many Best Global Brands—including CocaCola, McDonald’s, Samsung, Visa, General Electric, and Toyota, to name but a few—invest significant budgets in Olympics sponsorships, because they are aware of the Games’ importance to people and, therefore, to the value of their brands [1].

This goes beyond mere visibility—it’s about creating a story that aligns with the spirit of the event. For example, P&G’s “hello mum” campaign, an emotionally resonant lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics, was picked up by 11% of individuals whom Interbrand surveyed in connection with the 2012 Games. This compares to an average of 4% who picked up messages from others brands that were simply financial sponsors. The campaign was designed to convey a brand message that would boost sales by several million dollars [2].

The Interbrand brand valuation methodology is used to analyze the actual impact of sponsorship on a brand and, ultimately, on the sustainable growth of the business.

Thanks to our Brand Strength framework, in particular—which includes a detailed analysis of a brand’s strength across six external competitive factors—it is possible to assess the effectiveness of sponsorships in guiding consumer perceptions with regard to pre-defined marketing objectives, and therefore, its ability to minimise risk for the business. The Role of Brand Analysis reveals the impact of the brand on customer choice, offering an accurate indication of the extent to which a brand’s sponsorship is actually influencing choice in the market and thus driving revenue for the business.

Generating value through a sports sponsorship—be it the Olympic Games or the football World Cup—means focusing your investments, increasing your returns and, ultimately, managing the results in an informed way.

If you are properly aware of the factors that determine value, the rewards of an Olympic Games sponsorship won’t end with the closing ceremony; rather, they will be instrumental to the growth of your brand and your business for years to come.

[1] Olympic Marketing Fact File, 2018 Edition.

[2] The corporate Olympic champions. BBC News. 15 August 2012.


To learn about about the work Interbrand did on the Olympics’ own brand, visit the PyeongChang 2018 case study.


Managing Director, Milan
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