Olympics sponsors face $100m ad quandary

Top tier Olympic sponsors fork out $100m or so each games but they must be pretty pee’d off about the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Not only is China on the world’s naughty step because of its treatment of minorities (and much else besides) but spectators are severely restricted because of China’s zero-Covid policy. There isn’t even any snow (which the International Olympic Committee might have anticipated.)

Oner upshot for sponsors is that they’re reluctant to run ad campaigns featuring the Games, which is at least half the point.

And when they do, Beijing is mysteriously absent: even here in sponsor Allianz’s Games effort from BBDO Shanghai (although they’re obviously Chinese, training for something.)

None of the sponsors has come publicly (as far as we can see) complaining that half their money is wasted thanks to the IOC’s choice. Actually it’s probably worse than that, given that they’re bound to seen as supporting the Games.

Next up, of course, we have the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Qatar’s treatment of immigrant workers has been a disgrace, enabled by FIFA’s stupid choice of a hardly-footballing, tiny country (a rich one, obviously) where there were no stadia and it’s far too hot anyway.

The bad PR is already rumbling away and it will get worse as footballers and pundits are pressed to say why they’re going /not going and what they think of their hosts. The England football team and management, voluble in their support for causes like ‘Kick It Out,’ have been notably silent.

Still Qatar has signed up David Beckham to front the thing and it’s looking for an agency to run a global tourism campaign.

So that’s all right then.

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