The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, or LOCOG for short, is the governing body actually responsible for putting on the Olympics in London. The cost of staging the Olympic games registers at over £2 billion and most of this cost is offset by corporate sponsorships. The privilege of commercially associating a business with the Olympic Games, however, comes at a steep price. A tier one domestic sponsorship costs around £50 million. In order to raise the necessary funds, LOCOG’s chief executive, Paul Deighton, wants to generate over £700 million from domestic sponsorships that that allow for businesses to promote commercial messages in association with the games.
Not all domestic businesses however are on board. In reaction to the marketing rules set out by LOCOG, Oddbins, headquartered in London, is executing a unique and controversial marketing campaign. Since Oddbins’ managing director Ayo Akintola does not have the capital necessary to meet the LOCOG’s fee for access to association rights, he has initiated a marketing stunt to draw attention to the matter, and hopefully generate some business in the process. For everyone who wears a brand not supporting the Olympics, Oddbins is offering a discount of 30%. Yes, that’s right, Oddbins will give you a discount for wearing Nike products, or using Mastercard instead of Visa, or showing a receipt for a Pepsi in their stores.
While this stunt is somewhat comical, in actuality it just might be brilliant. Perhaps, customers or other business owners who feel similar to Mr. Akintola will bless his stores with their patronage and help him on his way to generating the cash base needed to become a tiered sponsor of the Olympics the next time London hosts them. Hopefully, it won’t take the Olympic Committee another 64 years have London be their host; it might be too late for Mr. Akintola.
This post was submitted by Charlie Boyd, MBA Candidate