Is Olympics Sponsorship worth the money?

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There are a lot discussion about this topic a while ago with the March 14 Tibet incident, the pro-Tibet protests caused Olympics torch relay incident in Paris, and the pro-China and pro-Tibet supporters shoutout in San Francisco afterwards…I guess it’s a media nightmare for the west Olympics sponsors such as Coca Cola. Controversy or not, the show is here, this Friday, 8:08 PM Beijing time (that is 8:08 AM Eastern) we will see the opening ceremony.

Before I jump into the various corporate Olympics sponsors, let me take another look at hosting (my home) country China. We all know China spent vast amount of money build up the infrustructure in Beijing: the Bird Nest, the Water Cube, the subway, and so on. But the Olympics money spree does not stop in Beijing and Qingdao. The cross country torch relay, even with Lenovo and Coke sponsorship, still cost local goverments tons of money in terms of security. The shutdown of polluting plants near Beijing also costs money. Many Chinese people question whether it is worthwhile to spend all the money and effort to host Olympics, when western media outlets are still looking at China with critical eyes, and when China is still a country with many people under or around poverty (there is tremdous needs in education, and healthcare).

My answer is obvious, it will worth the money, with the greatest party of manmind and the publicity comes with it. Think Korea as an example, before 1988, who has heard about Samsung? Now Samsung is a global name. Could Lenovo follow Samsung’s footstep? Why can’t they if they have the right strategy, management and market environment.

Corporate sponsors
For International sponsors, i.e., Addidas, Coca Cola, McDonald, SamSung,…Olympics will re-inforce their global brands in China and around the world, via. news coverage.

For Chinese players: Bank of China, Lenovo, Sohu, China Mobile,…this is their new game. They have grow their business largely inside China amid the booming economy in China. Now it’s time to go global. It’s no small change, for a company like Sohu to sink in millions of USD for the Internet Sponsorship, but they seems are getting the benifit of sponsorship quickly, with the increasing advertising revenue from Coca Cola, P&G, and other global brands…

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