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Olympics Also a Great Marketing Forum
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The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will not be just the greatest sports event watched by billions. They will also be a golden marketing opportunity for some Chinese brands.


Some of China's biggest known brands, including Lenovo and dairy firm Yili Group are already part of the official sponsors of the Games.


The marketing opportunities offered by the Games is unparalleled, Chairman of the IOC's Marketing Commission Gerhard Heiberg told an Olympics economic forum yesterday. "The opportunities are numerous, the benefits many and the legacy outstanding," he said.


"As the world's most powerful and recognizable brand, the Olympics will partner China and a host of the world's leading brands in delivering an unrivalled marketing platform," Heiberg said.


Sina.com reports quoted Heiberg as saying last month that the Beijing Olympics could generate revenue of about $3 billion, that is, twice as much as the last Games in Athens.


Lenovo is one of the Games' top sponsors because of which its brand goodwill has risen 18 percentage points in 12 countries of Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific.


Its market presence in China rose to 36.7 percent in 2006. And its international turnover has of late showed very encouraging signs.


"Our achievement is because we have Olympics as our platform," Lenovo Group's Senior Vice-president Chen Shaopeng said. "It's worth (the sponsorship)."


The Games' organizers have benefited, too. Yuan Bin, director of the marketing department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), said the 2008 Olympics have achieved a substantial number of its marketing targets.


"The market revenue can fully meet the cost of organization and operation," Yuan said.


In return, BOCOG has set up many platforms and services for sponsors. For example, during the Games, the organizers will earmark product demonstration zones in the Olympic Village and encourage public interaction over sponsors' products.


(China Daily August 7, 2007)


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