Going for gold_eds letter MMHK Aug
The Beijing Olympics has shown us many, many amazing things aside from the freakish nature of the Chinese men's gymnastics team.
Quite simply, the sheer scale and ongoing fascination surrounding the Beijing Games from consumers, the media and the marketing sector is worthy of a gold medal in itself.
What the Beijing Games has shown us is that sport and sporting rights are the gold currency, if you get it right.
Some 55 sponsors, suppliers and worldwide partners including the likes of McDonald's, Samsung, Kodak, Lenovo, Volkswagen and Omega have invested hundreds of millions to link their brands to the very best the sporting world has to offer. And the numbers have been incredible.
Almost one third of the world's population watched the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, according to The Nielsen Company, with CSM Media Research estimating that more than 842 million Chinese viewers alone watched the opening epic from their TV sets at home.
I have to admit that of the many hours I spent watching the long-distance cycling, I lost count how many times a flashy new VW veered in and out of my TV set, assisting cyclists with water or food. Same too for Omega, which had a presence in every gold, silver and bronze performance in the swimming pool, images I think any advertising agency would struggle to produce.
Beijing has also turned out to be great for the media involved. Recent reports show that ratings for local Olympic broadcast partners Television Asia and TVB dramatically improved throughout the games. This is also the first Olympics in HD and one where the true power of the internet and digital, video-on-demand technology can be used.
So where is this all heading and will it continue? Sports sponsorship consultancy IEG predicts that this year direct sport sponsorship in Asia will hit around US$7.3 billion, with marketers spending some $44.8 billion globally on direct sponsorship over the next 12 months. Media buyers say that for every $1 dollar spent on direct sponsorship, at least another $1 is spent on activating the sponsorship and a further $1 advertising it. What a huge investment.
PricewaterhouseCoopers latest Global Entertainment & Media Outlook report shows that part of the shift in advertising dollars to major sporting events is due to the evolving media landscape and how we consume media today. But again, the same question continues to arises, how do marketers and media professionals measure the impact of a compelling sports event like the Olympics? I'm sure this will be a hotly debated topic in coming weeks.But ultimately, what the Beijing Olympics has shown us is that in these tougher times, advertising executed properly, works very well.
- CSM Media Research
- Omega International
- The Nielsen Company
- McDonald's Restaurants
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