The 2008 Olympics in Beijing are finally done. It was three weeks of interesting stories from China, but what stories are the biggest leaving these games? Who’s brand was most positively impacted by these Beijing Olympics? How did the sponsors, who paid mega endorsement dollars, fare during the 2008 Beijing Olympics? Below we take a look at these questions and analyze who’s brand reigned supreme in Beijing.
COMPANIES & ENDORSERS OLYMPIC BRANDS:
1. Speedo- Their LZR Racer suit has been the dominant brand at the Watercube. Athletes wearing the Speedo suit accounted for 90% of the medals won in swimming and broke 23 world records in Beijing.
2. Nike – Outfitted many of the top US athletes at the Olympics. Got great exposure from the “Redeem Team”, the US track and soccer teams. And who didn’t see the photos of darlings of beach volleyball, Misty May and Kerri Walsh, wearing their Nike bikinis as they posed with President Bush.
3. Li-Ning – They outfitted many of the countries that US athletes competed against. Great exposure having their namesake light the torch to kickoff the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
4. Puma- Sponsorship of the Jamaican track team and their star, Usain Bolt, paid huge dividends. They didn’t have to shell out the same dollars that Nike and Li-Ning did, but still shared the spotlight with them.
5. Coca-Cola- Their spot with LeBron James and Yao Ming was the most interesting commercial I saw during the Olympics.
6. McDonald’s- If I heard once, I heard it a thousand times during the Beijing Games that McDonald’s supplied all of the food on the Olympic Green and to the media. They squeezed a lot of mileage out of their sponsorship dollars and some free McNuggets.
7. Lenovo- Nice product shot of a Lenovo Think Pad sitting on the desk as Jim Lampley and Bob Costas talked about the action at the Olympics.
ATHLETES OLYMPIC BRANDS:
1. Michael Phelps – The Golden Boy of the 2008 Olympics. Phelps is going to be in endorsement deal heaven after his 8 gold medal feat at the Summer Games. Look for him to increase his net worth about ten times over with new endorsements. The bigger question now is how does he top this performance in London in 2012?
2. Usain Bolt- Jacques Rogge might not like Usain, but the rest of the World does. Assuming he stays clean of all doping/drug scandals (sad I have to say that, but this is track & field) and he’s going to be the biggest track star since Carl Lewis.
3. Misty May & Kerri Walsh- They hit all of the right notes at the ’08 Games on their way to collecting a second straight gold medal. Athens put them on the map, and Beijing should make them households names around America. The question now is what they do with their new found fame, as they’ve both stated they want to take some time off to start a family. Their brand is on the rise, but it’s to be continued…
4. “Redeem Team”- They came, they saw, they conquered. It was Kobe, LeBron and DWade leading this team on the court, but the true credit for “Redeem Team” should go to Jerry Colangelo and Coach K. They got the megawatt NBA stars to buy-in and put on a great show on and off the court.
OTHER OLYMPIC BRANDS:
* China/BOCOG – How did China’s brand fare? They put on a spectacular show that impressed the entire World. Behind the scenes their government was up to the same old tricks, like restricting protests and limiting access to information. Even with all of the evil government actions, overall these games was a huge boost for China’s brand. We got to get a peak behind the Great Wall, and even though much of it was staged, it was still a great first step to exposing the Chinese to the rest of us.
* The IOC- How did the IOC’s brand fare? They got pushed around by the Chinese government and BOCOG. Jacques Rogge put his foot in his mouth regarding Usain Bolt. The positive was an Olympics that was not marred by doping issues, but the issue of these games is underage athletes which the IOC ignored for the most part. Their brand took a hit on these games, I think most people in the World now see them for the greedy corporation that they are.
* NBC- They paid a truckload and were blasted by many people for delaying their broadcast of certain events so they could be shown during prime-time. Overall, I thought NBC did a better job with the Beijing Games than any others in recent memory. They eased off on some of the sappy human interest stories and didn’t over-expose Bob Costas. Their brand got a nice boost from Beijing Olympics 2008.
Goodbye to Beijing 2008…hello London 2012.