Branding the World of Sports

Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Brazil launches new logo for 2016 Olympics

Posted by ZA on January 3, 2011

Brazil has released their logo for the 2016 Olympics.  I think its a good looking logo, even if does bear some resemblance of the Telluride Foundation logo.

Brazil 2016 Olympics logo

Posted in Olympics | Leave a Comment »

What will FOX pay to broadcast the Olympics?

Posted by ZA on May 5, 2010

Variety reports that Fox is planning to make a “major run” at securing the rights to broadcast the 2014 Olympics (Sochi) and 2016 Olympics (Rio).  Fox would need to knock off incumbent broadcast partner, NBC, in order to land the Olympics.  NBC has been the television partner for the Olympics since 2000, but have said they lost money to broadcast the most recently Vancouver Olympics.  Fox is rumored to have bid much less than NBC (half is the reported number) for broadcast rights to ’08 & ’10 Olympics.

So how much will Fox bid on rights to the ’14 & ’16 Olympics? My guess is they bid somewhere in the $750 million range for each, which is well below the current broadcast rights on Olympics.  NBC will lay out close to $2 billion dollars for the rights to broadcast the ’10 Olympics and 2012 London Olympics (chart of broadcast rights paid on Olympics).  So the natural questions are why would Fox bid an amount lower than what it costs today?  And does Fox stand a chance to win the broadcast rights for the Olympics?

I think Fox bids $750 million (-ish) for each of Sochi & Rio because that’s what they think they are worth.  No network in their right mind should think that Sochi & Rio are going to have the revenue potential as London (2012) and Beijing (2008).  So Fox’s bid will be closer to what NBC paid in Athens ($793 million) and Sydney (Sydney $705 million) earlier this decade.  And it’s possible that Fox (and others) bid even lower on the 2014 Olympics, because Winter Games do not sell as well in the United States and Sochi isn’t a name destination.

I think Fox will have a shot, but probably loses out to NBC or ABC/ESPN.  NBC has made the Olympics their thing, so I think it’s worth it to them to bid more just so they can continue to be the “Olympic Network”.  ESPN is a sports media juggernaut 365 days a year, so they would have the potential to market the Olympics in a way we’ve never seen.  It just seems those two networks should want the Olympic broadcast rights more, so I think ultimately Fox’s bid will fall short.

Posted in ESPN, Fox, NBC, Olympics, Sports Television | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

IOC pays price for picking Rio over Chicago

Posted by ZA on March 1, 2010

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had to balance a lot of factors in selecting Rio de Janeiro as host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics over Chicago (and Barcelona & Tokyo).  They had to consider which location had the facilities and infrastructure, they considered which city/country/continent was deserving (South America has never hosted an Olympics) and of course they had to consider which candidate would help the bottom line.  Their financial considerations likely included which host city could bring lucrative sponsors and broadcast dollars.  And while the potential pool for sponsors is global and the IOC sells broadcast rights to a multiple countries, the right host country will greatly increase the financial potential.

As the IOC begins negotiations for broadcast rights on the 2016 Olympics, they may finally be having a twinge of regret at not selecting Chicago as host city.  That is because the IOC’s initial discussions with U.S. based broadcast rights partners has met with “tepid response“.  The potential U.S. broadcast partners are already working on bringing down the IOC asking price.  A normal negotiating tactic?  Sure, but keep in-mind that NBC paid $2.1 billion for the 2010 & 2012 broadcast rights.  That is the bar the IOC wants to surpass, but it seems unlikely they’ll be able to with the 2014 games in Sochi and 2016 in Rio.  Winter Games don’t normally draw the big bucks like the Summer Olympics, as evidenced by the rumored $200 million that NBC will lose to broadcast the Vancouver Olympics, so Rio is the big ticket item.

Rio will surely be a fantastic host of the 2016 Olympics and they will open up plenty of new opportunities for the Olympics in South America.  New sponsorships and new broadcast partners will be brought into the IOC family.  But even with those positives, the IOC is now realizing that Chicago would have been a cash cow.  If Chicago were the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics, all of the major U.S. sports networks would be lining up to set the record on broadcast rights paid on an Olympic games.  Chicago would have likely netted a broadcast rights deal north of $2.5 billion, which is the new mark the IOC and Rio have to try to surpass.  If they don’t the IOC might for the first time have some regrets over picking Rio over Chicago.

Posted in Olympics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Under Armour signs Michael Phelps

Posted by ZA on February 19, 2010

Michael Phelps will need to be strong to haul around all of the checks from sponsors

Under Armour has signed swimmer Michael Phelps to an multiyear endorsement deal.  The deal will have Phelps endorse Under Armour products that he wears to train “outside-the-pool”.  It was structured that way because Phelps already has a lucrative endorsement deal with Speedo, whose swimsuits he wears during competitions.

This is a bold move for Phelps and Under Armour and appears to be a win-win.  Under Armour picks up one of the most marketable, young athletes in the World for a pretty fair price (note: figures on the deal were not disclosed, but one expert estimated the deal at $5 million).  Phelps insures that Under Armour will get plenty of coverage at the Summer Olympics, an event that has traditionally been dominated by Nike, Adidas and even Puma.  This deal is also a great move for Phelps who already has the richest swimwear contract that Speedo has ever signed.  It is like Phelps gets to double dip, by having two sponsors in the same genre.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in Endorsement Deals, Olympics, Under Armour | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Which Olympians will emerge as stars from Vancouver?

Posted by ZA on February 17, 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics are underway and the early returns suggest that approximately 10% more Americans are tuning into NBC this year as compared to Turin 2006.  That increase in exposure is sure to be matched by the increased attention this year’s Olympics will receive on the internet.  Remember that Twitter and Facebook were not around in 2006 to bring us breaking news the Winter Games.  So overall these Winter Olympics should do a lot more to promote their athletes than any previous Winter Games.

So the next logical question is which athletes will benefit the most from the increased exposure in Vancouver?  Already these games have made a household name out of Nodar Kumaritashvili, who tragically died in a luge accident on the day of the Opening Ceremonies.  In a more positive story we’ve been introduced to Canadian skier, Alexandre Bilodeau and his brother Frederic, who was born with cerebral palsy but is an inspiration for his brother.  Alexandre won the first gold medal of these Olympics for his home country of Canada.

So we already have names from Vancouver 2010 etched into our consciousness.  But which Olympic athletes are we still going to be talking about 3 months after the 2010 Games are done?  AdAge broke down a few of the Winter Olympics athletes that they believe have the best chance for post-Olympics marketing success.  Here is their take on the stars likely to be created from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver:

Gold medal
* Lindsey Vonn – If she overcomes injury to medal, then she’ll be able to write her own ticket to endorsement fame.
* Apolo Anton Ohno – Already done spots for Coke, McDonald’s and Nestle.
* Sidney Crosby – Young star has appeal in Canada (his home country) and US (plays for Pittsburgh Penguins).

Silver medal
* Shaun White – Already a major marketing force, has endorsed Amex & HP.
* Shani Davis – Another star who already rakes in nice money from companies like Nike.
* Johnny Weir & his fellow US men’s figure skaters – Could be big names in they bring home the gold.

Bronze medal
* Bode Miller – Former bad boy can now become the model for redemption.
* Rachael Flatt – Who?  She’s the United States best hope in women’s figure skating.  A medal will catapult her.
* Kris Freeman & Brian McKeever – Stories of overcoming great obstacles.

Who do you think will be the breakout marketing star for the Vancouver Winter Olympics?

Posted in Olympics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do you know Mark Grimmette?

Posted by ZA on February 11, 2010

Do you know this guy?

Most American sports fans have probably never heard the name, Mark Grimmette.  But Mark is a name you need to know because he has been selected by the USOC to carry the American flag at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Grimmette is a luger who competes in doubles luge with his partner Brian Martin.  Grimmette’s team won an Olympic bronze medal in the 1998 Winter Games and a silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.  More here on him at this Wikipedia page about Mark Grimmette.

I’ll admit that I had never heard of him before today, but I also probably do not know 95% of the athletes at the Winter Olympics.  It is an honor for Grimmette to carry the US flag; so I congratulate him and hopes he brings home the gold.

Posted in Athletes, Olympics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top sponsors for Summer & Winter Olympics

Posted by ZA on January 19, 2010

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a group of “Top” sponsors that commit to support the Olympics for 4 years (one Summer Olympics & one Winter Olympics).  Below are the top IOC sponsors for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2012 London Summer Olympics:

Current Olympics Top Sponsors (Vancouver 2010 & London 2012):
Atos Origin
General Electric

Each of these companies pay close to $100 million, in cash or in-kind services, to be a Top sponsor for the Olympic Games.  The IOC will pull in close to $1 billion dollars from these sponsors in Vancouver and London.  Many of these companies sponsored the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2008 Beijing Summer Games as well.  Adidas, Manulife Financial and Volkswagen were 2008 sponsors who dropped, while Acer and Atos Origin are new for the 2010 Games.

Here is the list of Top sponsors from the official Olympic site.

Posted in Olympics, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NBC will lose money on 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Posted by ZA on January 12, 2010

According to NBC Sports president, Dick Ebersol, the peacock is going to lose money to broadcast the Olympics for the first time in their history showing the Games.  AdAge article quoted Ebersol as saying, “…we will, for the first time in all my years at NBC, lose money on an Olympics”.  Ebersol blamed the cost to secure the broadcast rights for the Olympics and a slumping economy which hurt early ad sales.

NBC Sports paid over $800 million dollars to broadcast the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.  That amount was just below the near $900 million they paid for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  But the Summer Olympics generate a ton more ad sales revenue than their winter counterpart.  That is why the IOC sells the broadcast rights commitment as a block of two that includes the upcoming Summer and Winter Games; you cannot buy rights to the Summer Games without taking the Winter Olympics as well.

In addition to the broadcast rights, NBC also has to spend heavily on production costs for the Olympics.  They have a staff of hundreds that broadcast from a remote location for the 2 weeks of the Olympics; some of those people have been in Vancouver for more than a year getting setup for these games.  So NBC has big costs to recoup on their Olympics production.  One key to doing so will be to build up campaigns around Winter Games athletes that get US television viewers to tune in during the Olympics.  If NBC can create interest in the athletes and sports of the Winter Games, then they will make more money on their broadcast rights.

Posted in NBC, Olympics, Sports Television | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Nestle turns to YouTube to promote Olympic athletes

Posted by ZA on January 5, 2010

Nestle is promoting its new product by releasing videos featuring Olympic athletes, Shawn Johnson and Apolo Anton Ohno on YouTube.  Johnson and Ohno are shown performing stunts in the videos to earn points for their Nestle team (Team Crispies or Team Chocolate).  The videos have drawn over 1 million views on YouTube.

The Shawn Johnson video shows her doing a backflip over a bobsled as it races down the track.  The video is similar to the Nike video that shows Kobe Bryant jumping over a speeding car.

Shawn Johnson doing backflip over a bobsled

Kobe Bryant leaps over a speeding car

[Assist: Brandweek]

Posted in Olympics, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Winter Olympics needs more marketable athletes

Posted by ZA on November 16, 2009

Quick name 5 athletes that will compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics…

Now name 5 athletes that competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing…

Which was easier to do?  Majority of people (especially in the United States) will be able to name athletes who compete in the Summer Games.  Very few will know the names of more than a couple of athletes who compete in the Vancouver Winter Olympics.  Why?  Because the sports and athletes of the Winter Games are not as marketable in the United States.  Luge, Curling and Bobsled don’t have the same appeal to U.S. viewers as events at the Summer Olympics.  Even the marquee events in the Winter Games, Ice Hockey, Figure Skating & Skiing, are not as popular as the top events at the Summer Olympics (Basketball, Swimming & Gymnastics).

Even on a global scale, names like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Kerry Walsh and Rafael Nadal are much more recognizable than their counterparts in the Winter sports.  Certain Scandinavian people will recognize the names of their top skiers.  But will US sports fans know any Winter athletes beyond Shaun White, Sasha Cohen and Apolo Ohno?  The average fan on the street in New York City knows Phelps and Bolt but is unlikely to know big Winter Games athletes like Lara Gut and Felix Gottwald.

The problem is that less recognizable athletes mean less dollars for their sports and the Winter Olympics in-general.  Sponsors will spend more on the Summer Games and swimming because of Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Stephanie Rice & Kirsty Coventry.  The IOC needs to work harder to build the images of their Winter Games athletes.  They need to develop top-line stars that rival the top names at the Summer Olympics.  The IOC needs to get more sponsors to promote the Winter Olympic athletes like Visa is doing with Lindsey Jacobellis and Julia Mancuso in their Go World campaign.

The IOC also needs to cultivate more athletes who come from the X Games; the athletes that appeal to a younger generation.  Shaun White will be one of the most recognizable athletes at Vancouver 2010.  White’s early success in the X Games made him popular enough to earn commercial endorsements from American Express and HP.  The exposure from those endorsements took him from a niche sport athlete to a mainstream media star; White is now a household name.  The IOC needs to find more success stories like Shaun White, or build those stories where none exist.

The Winter Olympics will be more popular when their athletes are bigger names.  These athletes are working their butts off for their sports, so few have time to focus on being mainstream success stories.  It is the IOC and their national organizing committees (i.e.- USOC) responsibility to market their athletes.  Doing so and encouraging more sponsors to promote those athletes will eventually build more recognizable names in the Winter Olympics.

Posted in Olympics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »