How the Games Does Olympic Apparel and GearPosted February 13, 2014 | | Promotions by Theme or Event
Everyone knows that the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is our global demonstration of competitive sports, national pride, and the power of teamwork. But one aspect of the games that is just as closely watched by fans and pundits alike is Olympic commercialism. Nowhere is the power of personalized promotional products more utilized than the Olympic Games. Let’s check out some of the logo products–both given away in athlete packs and up for sale to the viewing public–featured in this year’s Games and why they work in establishing this global brand.
Official Olympic Apparel Sponsors and Outfitters
As you might expect, brands get a boost when they attach themselves to the Olympic athletes. And while Olympic sponsorship is typically limited to those brands that have enormous funds to throw at the campaign, there is a definite lesson to learn from this interaction. If you attach your brand to a locally or regionally popular event, you’ll see a boost in your recognition.
Oakley. The Oakley ‘O’ is instantly recognizable on sunglasses, luggage, goggles and apparel. Dubbed as the official eye wear supplier to the U.S. Olympic Team, Oakley is the ultimate co-branding selection for the athletic and outdoor markets.
Nike. When it comes to athletic shoes, clothing and gear, Nike is a globally recognized brand. Its connection to the Olympics, plus the introduction of new digital apps for more mobile device, has given the company added clout in the marketplace.
Ralph Lauren. This brand is not exclusively athletic, but Ralph Lauren has certainly left its mark in global fashion. Plus, cobranding in a different market enhances its viability and exposes itself to a new set of customers.
If you’re considering purchasing promotional products for a publicity campaign or for your employees, co-branding with these companies could be a smart move.
Olympic Gear: The Promotional Gift Packs for Athletes and Volunteers
Aside from fame and glory, Olympic athletes, and volunteers, are routinely treated with handsome gift packs filled with Olympic logo merchandise upon their arrival at the Games. The brands that contribute items consider it a marketing opportunity, as promotional photos with athletes wearing their insignia typically mean a commercial boon for the company.
Check out this list of promotional products that appeared in the swag sets of around 400,000 Olympic volunteers:
- Apparel. Two pairs of Polo-style shirts, two pairs of slacks, two pairs of socks, a jacket, and a pair of shoes–all sponsored and labeled Adidas brand apparel
- Gear. A baseball cap, an official Games time bag, a water bottle, a notepad, and an umbrella–again, all sponsored and labeled Adidas brand gear
- Electronics. An official red ‘Game Maker’ Swatch watch
For the athletes of London 2012, these special gifts–customized and fitted on-site by their prospective donors–were also included in their welcome packs upon arrival:
- A $600 gold ring and a Swiss watch worth several thousand dollars, supplied by Omega
- Five duffel bags per athlete, filled with around 100 items donated by Ralph Lauren, Nike, Oakley, and P&G
These promotional products were in addition to room-and-board in a cordoned athletic housing compound, complete with fee TV, free Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art gym, and an anti-doping facility.
Olympics Merchandise: From Profits to Purpose
Olympic merchandising has become just as much a part of the experience as the games themselves. From roadside vendors to online merchants, buying Olympic merchandise says you were there (or you wish that you were). Check out these aspects of Olympic merchandising that can teach you something about enhancing your brand’s image.
- The power behind the profits. The combination of new logo designs and more licensing deals makes Olympic merchandising a major profit-puller. During the London Games in 2012, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) set a global record with over $115 million in retail sales.
- Merchandising with a purpose. Humanitarian groups, such as Principle 6, combine the Olympic spirit with the struggle for equality. The Olympic Charter’s Principle 6 reads “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.” This includes LGBT rights–sale proceeds from this branded Olympic gear go directly to LGBT advocacy groups in Russia.
The lesson to learn? While branding for profits can be successful, creating a promotional campaign with a charity partnership can elevate the image of your brand and function as both PR and marketing
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