The Summer Olympics is the love of every individual who lives for sports and the spirit that it ignites in people around the world. The multisport event is held once every four years and is also known as the Games of the Olympiad. Since its inception in Athens, Greece in the year 1896 it has won the hearts of every sports lover who ever lived and its popularity continues to grow at a rapid pace. Though every Summer Olympics ever held was organized with the dream of spreading the love for sports and sportsmanship around the world,, each of them has its own stories that set them apart from one another.
Though the events may be the same across, each Olympics is held in a different country , and with it comes a difference in the execution, marketing, and the culture. In this post, we will try to study the last 3 Summer Olympic Games and figure out what made them different from one another from a branding and marketing perspective.
The Tokyo Olympics was to be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2020 but was delayed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, it was branded as Tokyo 2020.
The logo for the event was designed by Asao Tokolo, who won a nationwide contest. The slogan is United by Emotion.
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The logo for the Olympic Games in 2021.
The Summer Olympics of 2008 was officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The event was commonly known as the Beijing 2008. It was an incredible international sports event where 10,942 athletes competed with each other in 28 different sports that had 302 events. It was a successful and mesmerizing multisport event that lasted from 8th August 2008 to 24th August 2008 in Beijing, China.
This was the very first time that China had the opportunity of hosting the Summer Olympic Games. Also, it was the third time that the games were held in East Asia. The first time when East Asia had this privilege was back in 1964 with the Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan, and then with the Olympics of Seoul, South Korea in 1988.
The branding campaign of the Summer Olympics in Beijing was a long-running campaign that started in the year 2001 when Beijing won the bid to host this magnificent event. Every element of branding in this event was just phenomenal.
The logo of the Summer Olympics held in Beijing was known as the ‘Dancing Beijing’ which was designed by the famous Chinese graphic designer, Guo Chunning. The logo was a fusion of the traditional red seal of China and a representation of the calligraphic character jing. In the logo, it can be seen that the character shows athletic features. The open arms show the invitation of China to the whole world to come and share its rich culture.
With the “One World One Dream” slogan, the Summer Olympics of Beijing invited the world to come together and rejoice in the spirit of the Olympics. Also, the slogan sent the message of building a better future for humankind and humanity. What made the slogan awesome is the fact that it was chosen from over 210000 entries from around the globe.
The official mascot of the Beijing Olympics was the five Fuwa or the “good luck dolls”. The Fuwa consisted of five members-fish, giant panda, fire, Tibetian antelope, and the swallow. Each of the dolls was colored in the same color as the primary color of the Olympics rings. Also, the dolls were organized systematically. If you take the first syllable from the name of each doll (Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini) it will form the phrase “Běijīng huānyíng nĭ” which means “Beijing Welcomes You”.
The main reason behind the success of the Beijing Olympics of 2008 was its incredible and well-planned marketing strategy. Every marketing program contributed significantly to make it the huge success it turned out to be.
Let’s have a look at the quality marketing elements that played a huge role in the success of the event.
The broadcasting of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was in a way the first digital games that the world saw. Superb action was delivered to sports lovers across the world through the means of the internet, television, and smartphones. What made the broadcasting effective was the choice it provided the viewers. Now, you must be thinking about what the choice was? Well…the broadcasting offered the viewers with a choice of watching the games whenever and wherever they wished to watch it from.
The amazing potential of digital technology helped to make sure that people get to be a part of this event whether they belong to China or any other country. The IOC chose Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) as its broadcasting partner which provided its partners with more than 5000 hours of excellent sports in HD. The partners in turn delivered the content to viewers across the globe with 61700 hours of Beijing Olympics broadcast.
The games were broadcasted in 220 territories with a huge TV audience of around 4.3 billion. From the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony, it was made sure that the viewers got to see amazing action in the best possible quality.
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The sponsorship program built for this stunning event was literally out of this world. With almost 50 companies contributing to making it a success, it was great news during that time. Every company that partnered with the event whether as a TOP partner or a domestic sponsor made a huge contribution for funding and promoting the games. And all of the contributions made delivered quality results.
The Summer Olympics of Beijing in the year 2008 is considered a huge milestone with regards to sponsorship to date. The reason behind this is the fact that it was not only the event that reaped benefits but it was the companies too. The sponsors not only got a golden chance of gaining recognition in the ever-developing market of China but also got a chance to showcase their products and services to the biggest crowd in the history of the Olympics.
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The Beijing Olympics of 2008 came as a great opportunity for China to shine brightly in the world. The event made it easier for the country to show the world what a great and powerful rising country it is. Plus it also gave China a greater level of recognition internationally.
China emerged as the country that won the most gold medals and enjoyed economic benefits both before and after the Olympic Games. As a result of the huge investment worth $40 million made in the infrastructure sector and expansion of tourism along with becoming a great hub for international businesses, the Olympic Games have brought an annual increase of 2.5% in the economy of the country since the year 2002.
Though there was much buzz around the human rights of the citizens of the country, many people agreed to the fact that they were very much satisfied with their country after the games. This makes it pretty clear about the impact that this amazing event had on the country.
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The Summer Olympics of 2012 was officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad. This amazing event was also called the London 2012 and lasted from 27th July 2012 to 12th August 2012. The event saw 10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). This magical event was held in beautiful London, United Kingdom. But the thing that made it different was the fact that the first event of the group stage in Women’s Football began before the opening ceremony at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 25th July 2012.
During the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, London won the bid and grabbed the opportunity of hosting the event on 6th July 2005. London defeated the bids of some of the most popular and big players like New York City, Paris, Moscow, and Madrid and became the first city to have hosted three modern Olympic games. The first time London got that opportunity was in the year 1908 and then in the year 1948.
Like the branding of every Summer Olympics ever hosted, the branding of the London 2012 was a huge success too. Every element of branding was perfectly aligned with the event and made it possible to grab the attention of more and more viewers around the world.
The Summer Olympics of 2012 had two different logos. One that was used for the bidding and a different one for the Games. The bidding logo was created by Kino Design and was a very simple one. It showed a ribbon that was in the shape of the River Thames and had stripes of blue, yellow, black, green, and red. The logo presented the “London 2012” through its design.
The main logo for the event was designed by Wolff Olins. The logo he created represented the year 2012 and you can find the five rings of the Olympics within the zero. This main logo was published in the year 2007 on 4th June.
The reaction of the public towards the main logo wasn’t that great though. In June 20007 BBC conducted a poll where the logo received the lowest ratings with more than 80% of votes. A large number of newspapers started their competition to create a new logo for the Games. Not only that, many famous writers and agencies criticized the logo. What made it worse was the fact that Iran was threatening to boycott the Olympics, and said that the logo appeared to spell the word “Zion”. But the good thing was that the boycott didn’t happen. But that’s not all the logo was compared to cartoon characters (and not in a good way) and was also held responsible for triggering seizures in people who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy.
The motto chosen for the Summer Olympics of 2012 was “Inspire a generation”. It represented the commitment of the organizers to inspire the entire world along with the younger generation to involve sports in their life through the rich legacy of the Games.
The official mascot for the event of the 2012 London Summer Olympics was Wenlock and Mandeville. The characters depict two drops of steel from one of Bolton’s steelworks. The animations were named after Much Wenlock which is a town in Shropshire and Stoke Mandeville which is a village in Buckinghamshire. The story concept for both the characters was written by Michael Morpurgo. There are even a couple of stories created about them: Adventures of a Rainbow and Out of a Rainbow.
When it comes to the marketing campaign of London 2012, everything was carried out perfectly and the campaign was very well able to achieve its goals.
When it comes to the broadcasting of this terrific event, one can even say it was kind of a big deal in the history of Olympic Broadcasting. The broadcasting for this event provided its viewers with more platforms and more coverage than they had received ever before.
London 2012 reached around 3.6 billion people in 220 countries and territories, which is the highest in the history of the Olympic Games. The Rights Holding Broadcasters of the IOC provided the viewers with around 100000 hours of coverage across more than 500 TV channels. The total number of hours exceeded by large from the Beijing Olympics, which was 61700 hours.
During the Games, the IOC also provided great content on its YouTube channel in the form of live broadcasting and on-demand content on the Olympic Games. The event also witnessed 3D live broadcasting for the first time.
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The London 2012 Olympic Games hugely benefited from the support it received from the 11 Worldwide Olympic Partners. The event was backed by a comprehensive program for sponsorship that helped provide the much-needed fund and other important goods and services from different categories.
The sponsorship was made by some of the big names in the market such as Coca-Cola, Acer, VISA, P&G, Panasonic, and others. It surely played a huge role in supporting the athletes and spreading the value of the Games across the world.
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The biggest impact that the event had on Britain was that it put it in a position to prove to the world that the sun wasn’t setting on the British empire. Before 2012, it was thought that Britain was losing its power mainly as a result of the global recession. But then London 2012 happened and Britain completely changed its image in front of the entire world. From the point where it was treated as a country that was losing its place all of a sudden became something to be proud of.
The country was very well able to redefine its culture and its future by displaying its traditional symbols and showcasing the diverse people of the country in a modern way. The result was mind-blowing. Where around 73% of the citizens didn’t think that hosting the Games was a good idea, around 75% of citizens were convinced that the London Olympics was the best event ever by the end of it.
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The 2016 Summer Olympics was officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Rio 2016 was held from 5th August 2016 to 21st August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On 2nd October 2009 at the 121st IOC Session held in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was announced that Rio is going to be hosting the Summer Olympics in 2016.
The Games of 2016 saw more than 11000 athletes participating in the event from 207 nations across the globe. The event also had some first-time entries such as the Refugee Olympic Team, Kosovo, and South Sudan. The sports events took place in 33 different venues in the city hosting the Games and five other cities of Brazil-Manaus, Salvador, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília.
The branding strategy of the Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 was no less than any of the previous Games. Every element of the brand was created from the viewpoint of achieving the goals and objectives already set.
The privilege of designing the official logo for the Rio 2016 was given to the Brazilian agency that goes by the name Tatíl Design after it defeated 139 agencies in the competition. The logo was first present on 31st December 2010. If you carefully look at the logo, you will see that the logo has a shape of a Sugarloaf Mountain where you can find three figures that are connected through their arms and legs. The designer Fred Gelli put in great effort to give the logo a 3D form and claims that it was the first-ever 3D logo in the history of the Olympic Games.
The phrase “A new world” was chosen as the official slogan for the Summer Olympics 2016. The slogan represented the commitment of the organizers to make the world a better place to live in, to be united together, and also to preserve the legacy of the Games for future generations to come. The slogan was also chosen because it was the first time that South America was hosting the Olympics.
The mascot for Rio 2016 was created by Birdo which is an animation company in Sao Paulo. The mascots were created to represent the beautiful flora and fauna of Brazil. The mascots were given the name Vinicius and Tom. Also, the names were decided by conducting a public vote. The results for the vote were announced on 14th December 2014 and finally, on 24th November 2014, the mascots were unveiled.
The marketing campaign for Rio 2016 was simply superb. It gave a tough competition to the Games that were organized before it. The broadcasting and sponsorship program for the Summer Olympics were to the point and hit right at the target.
The broadcast of the Rio 2016 was produced by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) which is responsible for providing radio and international TV signals to all the RHBs. The event was broadcasted on different platforms like the radio, television, smartphone, and the internet.
OBS used over 1000 cameras to deliver over 7000 hours of high definition sports to the viewers spread over 200 countries and territories of the world. The event was a huge success which was proved by the huge number of potential viewers (5 billion) who watched the event. Through its broadcasting efforts, the event was able to reach sports lovers around the world which proves that this element of the marketing worked for Brazil.
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The sponsorship for the Rio 2016 was undoubtedly amazing which is one the reason why the event proved to be such a huge success. The sponsorship program for the event saw some huge names in the market such as Omega, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Samsung, and more. The sponsors provided much-needed products and services to the event such as refreshments for the athletes and other team members and technological support to run the event smoothly.
But it’s not just the event and Brazil that benefited from the sponsorship but the sponsors did too. The sponsors got a great opportunity to flaunt their products and services in front of billions of people. This was a great opportunity for them to advertise their brand and earn more recognition.
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Before the Games took place, Brazil was mainly known for its poor economy and high rates of crime. Sports lovers across the globe thought that the event was undoubtedly doomed, but the amazing opening ceremony of the Games made it pretty clear even Brazil can do it. Everyone who attended the ceremony or saw it on their television was completely stunned and mesmerized by the way the ceremony presented the rich culture of South America uniquely.
Another factor that impacted the cultural pride of Brazil was the gold medal that was won by the men’s soccer team and a good enough total count of medals. These things gave the citizens of the country to unite together which was actually what the slogan was all about.
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As the amazing legacy of the Olympics continues and countries do their absolute best to bag the opportunity of hosting one of these events, the world will never seize to acknowledge the part it plays in deepening the pride of sports and sportsmanship.
Even though every Olympic Game ever hosted has its uniqueness they never fail to blow our minds. No matter which country or which continent hosts it, the beauty of this event is what brings the whole world together.