Will the advertisers’ bet on the Tokyo Olympics pay off?

After being postponed last summer, the Tokyo Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23.

There’s a big problem, though: a lot of people don’t want this to happen.

According to The Economist, 50% + of Japanese citizens want the games to be postponed again. Due to COVID, parts of Japan are still in a state of emergency, and it’s not even clear if fans can attend.

A lot of money is at stake

To host the games, Tokyo was able to collect:

  • A record $ 3 billion and over dozens of (mostly domestic) brands including Japan Airlines, Toyota and Canon
  • $ 500 million from major global sponsors including Coca-Cola, Visa and Airbnb

While the actual performance of Olympic sponsors is often not clear, the audience that the event provides cannot be disputed.

Example: 3.2 billion people watched part of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, for example The Economist.

With so much opposition to the organization of the games …

… There may not be much of an Olympic halo for Tokyo advertisers, especially national brands.

Major sponsors – like Coca-Cola – are in a slightly different boat: they sign multi-year agreements on many summer and winter games and can survive a bad Olympics.

However, there is a big problem on the horizon for these global brands: The next Winter Olympics in 2022 will be held in Beijing, which some countries could boycott due to China’s treatment of its Uyghur population.

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