I noticed this “English First Co.”, which is 2008 Beijing Olympics language training partner, because of their ubiquious ads (outside and inside) Cloud 9 building. I understand there are at least 2 levels of Olympics partners. Lenovo, Haier and Coke Cola, etc are exclusive sponsors (in its product category). In other words, they gave more money to Olympics committe and they got more exposure in return. MengNiu (diary product), “English First” and others are product providers. As the name implies, they gave products to Beijing Olympics. But still, I was puzzled why New Oriental did not go for it? I can think of two reasons:
1) New Oriental is not strong in Oral English training. Their home turf is test preparation. Note the English training in China is highly fragmented, for instance, in “Oral English”, I saw another provider named “Learning”, and they are fairly popular in Shanghai.
2) New Oriental does not need the exposure. They already got enough publicity from “listing in NYSE”. They want to save money to open more schools.
This may be a good thing in terms of: 1) They focus on their main business; 2) Fiscal conservative, spend the money wisely.