The Olympics: A Global Brand (Kind Of)

Olympic-themed Coca-Cola bottles

Photo Credit: The Dieline

Are you excited about the upcoming Olympics in London? I am! I love watching athletes from around the globe compete against each other, especially the summer version. It’s a patriotic time for so many nations, and it’s wonderful to see the world come together on such a grand stage.

Beyond the stadiums, another competition is playing out — who can profit from the Olympic brand.

Like any brand, the Olympics want to keep strict control over how their brand is used. To aid their cause, they partner with a small group of official sponsors, who pay for the right to use the Olympic branding and have to follow detailed rules on how they use it.

Sounds simple, right? Of course, there are many businesses who fall outside of this small group who would like to profit from the Games as well. Everyone from small street vendors outside London’s venues to online companies want to get in on the act.

As London awaits the world’s spotlight. ‘brand police’ are quietly patrolling the streets ensuring that companies who are not official sponsors are not profiting from an association with the Games. Is that fair? Or should local businesses, often the lifeblood of an area, be able to profit from the Olympics as well?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!