There are many levels of sponsorships when it comes to the Olympics. You’ve got worldwide Olympic partners, official partners of the Games, official sponsors of the games, official suppliers, and so on, and so on.
As consumers, we don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of why what brand is a certain sponsor and what rules they have to follow (a lot!). We just love to watch the commercials and see the athletes who are represented by them. We love the inspiring stories, the mix of cultures, and the successes of someone who expertly perfects their craft. We soak it all up and brands do too.
So, while athletes were preparing to ski, skate, bobsled, and curl their way to the world’s biggest stage, brands were fine-tuning their ads, social media campaigns, and promotional events for a shot at the spotlight, too. And since modern marketing strategies include over-the-top immersive experiences, brand engagement, and influencer marketing, don’t think that they sat on the sidelines for the Olympics. Oh no…they went above and beyond.
Alibaba participated in its first Olympic advertising and social campaign with its “Greatness of Small” theme that focused on how the small moments can have an immeasurable impact on the larger scheme of life.
Coca-Cola took the nostalgic approach and centered on the brand’s history with the Olympics. To celebrate 90 years associated with the Olympics, Coca-Cola partnered with 90 U.S. athletes. And it was a pretty crazy process.
Coke chose from over 200 athletes and determined the final 90 by using a variety of factors: discussions with NBC, United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Olympic legends, and an in-house Olympic questionnaire that helped determine the correct brand fit within the Company’s portfolio of products.
From there, they landed on the “4-pack” who you saw in all of their in-store signage and advertisements: freestyle skier Mac Bohonnon; figure skater Nathan Chen; bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor; and Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy.
Kellogg’s threw a 100 Days Out celebration where they unveiled limited-edition cereal boxes featuring Team U.S.A. athletes: Paralympic snowboarder Mike Schultz, snowboarder Kelly Clark, figure skater Nathan Chen, and ice hockey player Meghan Duggan.
During the Olympics in February, Kellogg’s NYC Café was transformed into a red, white, and blue cereal celebration with festive décor and the Kellogg’s limited-edition cereal box signage. Yes, a cereal destination where you can eat, chill, and create actually exists.