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MKTG: Home of Sochi Olympic Sponsorship Insights

MKTG: Home of Sochi Olympic Sponsorship Insights

As the world gathers in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, MKTG will be the Canadian sponsorship industry's go-to source for insights and analysis on Olympic sponsorship and marketing issues. Until Friday February 28th, MKTG will be providing our thought leadership on the business side of the Winter Games. From sponsor and ambush spotlights, to our projections on what athletes will emerge from Sochi with the highest endorsement potential, MKTG will be providing unique and compelling content throughout the duration of the Games. Additionally, MKTG President Brian Cooper will be on the ground in Sochi, the eyes and ears behind many of the insights you can expect to see over the next 2 weeks. At MKTG, we live and breath sponsorship. We are committed to sharing our passion for sponsorship to create a dialogue that will advance our industry even further.

The Super Bowl As A Platform to Tell Your Olympic Story:

There are few properties that can match the Olympics on the levels of brand activity that they fuel. One of those properties, at least on a North American level, is the Super Bowl. With the Sochi games beginning just days after the completion of last weekend's Super Bowl, many brands attempted to leverage the massive Super Bowl platform to speak to an audience about their upcoming Olympic campaigns.

What separates many of these brands is their status in affiliation to the Olympics, ranging from official Canadian Olympic Committee sponsor, to pure Olympic ambusher. MKTG breaks down the approach of two brands - one a sponsorship, the other an active ambush attempt - who told their Olympic Story on Super Bowl Sunday.

1. Bell Canada: 

Bell's spot, which ran multiple times throughout the Big Game, showcased the multi-platform viewing experience they can offer to fans. Bell's content driven partnership with the COC makes strategic sense in a world where the second screen is a bigger part of the viewing experience than ever before. Bell's narrative transcends the Olympic sponsorship rights fee question of "is it worth it?" or "could they tell this story without the Olympic rings?".  As an official sponsor, they have access to exclusive content that can truly differentiate themselves in the Telecom wars.

Not to mention, there subtle jab to Russia's LGBT legislation was smart, bold, and it got the Twittersphere talking.

2. Budweiser:

Conversely, ABInbev (a non-sponsor) aligned themselves to Sochi 2014 with a 30 second Super Bowl spot designed to leverage the equity of the Olympics without a massive rights fee investment.

The ad heavily leans on a Canadiana theme at a time of national pride. The use of Jim Hughson, Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster, as a narrator and red-and-white donned hockey players is as clear an ambush attempt as they come. With Molson's Olympic Strategy focused less on IP rights and more on story-telling through the Beer Fridge Project campaign in this year's World Junior/Pre-Olympic cycle, perhaps Budweiser sensed an opening to position themselves against Molson through Olympic-themed imagery.

Stayed Tuned For More Insights

The ambush vs. official sponsor debate will no doubt be top-of-mind in the sponsorship community over the next two weeks. As sponsorship specialists, MKTG will be covering this topic and more during Sochi 2014.

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