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Olympic doubts spell trouble for sponsors
The summer Olympics are due to start late next month, but with doubts over whether any domestic spectators can attend the physical games, the games’ more than 60 sponsors weigh marketing operations amid widespread opposition to the games in Japan, Reuters reports.
Why it matters
Sponsors that made a relatively sound bet on one of the major global sporting events could not have foreseen the pandemic. Now, with the games an increasingly controversial topic, sponsors are navigating negative public opinion, doubts over key decisions.
- For around 60% of the Japanese public, the games ought to be cancelled or delayed, according to a recent poll.
- The sponsoring companies paid a record fee of $3billion to sponsor the Tokyo 2020 games, adding another $200million on to extend the contract when they were delayed. While global sponsors are able to push back some activity to Beijing 2022 or Paris 2024, domestic sponsors have no such option.
- While most sponsors saw the event not only as an opportunity to sell (such as the official beverage sponsor Asahi) but to demonstrate high-end new technology by carmaker Toyota or the telecoms firm NTT Docomo, both keen to show off electric cars and 5G connectivity, respectively.
- Now, some companies worry about the risks of sponsoring an event opposed by a majority of the country.
“I’m worried that by airing Olympic ads, it could be negative for the company. […] At this point, no amount of publicity we could get would make up for what we paid” - a source at a domestic sponsor tells Reuters.
Sourced from Reuters
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