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The Movement has remained true to the 'cleanvenue' policy that helps to distinguish Olympic eventsfrom other elite-level sporting activities. So in-stadiumor on-athlete advertising is out. But TOP sponsors haveused just about every other tool in the marketeer'srepertoire. This includes using Olympic trademarks in corporate advertising campaigns, entertainingcustomers at the Games and using tickets and otherrewards in employee incentive schemes and consumerpromotions. In any case, as Coke's McCune says: "The lack of signage doesn't bother us.We wouldrather have everyone in the stadium drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola than have our logo on the athletes.""Companies have understood that in today's society,an association with the Olympic movement would be a positive thing to do," says Gerhard Heiberg, the IOCMember from Norway who chairs the IOC's MarketingCommission. "Some people use it to motivate internally,"Heiberg continues. "Some to get a better image. Some, like Samsung, have grown their brand statusinternationally. Companies see different aspects as validto them. Different people have different approaches."Heiberg also argues that TOP partners have "broughtour message, our ideals to the outside world. Yes, wehave helped them, but they have helped us to promotethe values in the Olympic Charter. That's why I don't call it sponsorship. I call it partnership."Before we start negotiating with companies, we check what are their basic values, how is theircorporate governance, how do they treat theirpeople.We have said no to companies where we see our basic philosophy is not the same."Ever since TOP I, when it ran a programmesupporting the US Ski team athletes, Visa has usedathletes to provide a local slant to its Olympic-relatedcampaigns. "The beauty of the Olympic Games is thatit has global reach, but local relevance," says Lynch."In Vancouver we had roughly 34 different countriesand nearly 1,700 clients/members activate againstVisa's Olympic marketing campaign which included a very popular 'Go World' Facebook page featuringVisa sponsored athletes.In most cases markets arelooking for that locally relevant content and that'swhat the athletes deliver for us."He continues: "We don't talk about athletes' use of Visa. We talk about the Olympic ideals and the56OLYMPIC REVIEWTOP PARTNERS

OLYMPIC REVIEW57celebration of human achievement. We have foundthat through these compelling Olympic and Paralympicathlete stories, all we really need to say is, 'Visa isincredibly proud to be a sponsor of the OlympicGames' and this affiliation delivers a powerful impactaround the world for our brand equity."We can conclusively say that the Olympic Gameshave had a positive impact on our brand and ourclients' and partners' businesses over the past 24years. We will spend money on activation as long as it is going to generate the appropriate returns." Coca-Cola's McCune explains how the company'smarketing model has evolved over the years throughfour stages. First there was Availability - simply gettingthe product to the right place, as on that freighter to theAmsterdam Games in 1928. Then came Exposure,through well-placed signs and television advertising.Then Experience: McCune gives the example of Coca-Cola Olympic City at the 1996 Atlanta Games, wherevisitors could compete with holographic images ofOlympic athletes, as well as seeing Olympic medals andthe Olympic torch. "So few people have the opportunityto experience the Olympic Games," McCune says, "wefeel it is almost an obligation for us to take the Gamesto the people." He also mentions a programme underwhich ordinary people can be nominated to run a leg of the torch relay that precedes each Games, based onhow they embody some aspect of the Olympic values.Now, he says, from Experience, the company istrying to move on to Engagement. The new possibilitiesopened up by digital technology are playing animportant role in this. "We had 46 million people whovirtually passed the Olympic flame to each other," hesays. The Olympic Games "allows our brands to createa global platform that drives our business. It allows our bottlers and employees to feel proud about working for the company. Employee engagement goes upexponentially in the run-up to the Games."Though TOP is an IOC-administered programme,the vast majority of the cash, goods and services it brings in are distributed around the Olympic world.Approximately 50 per cent of the total raised in anyOlympic quadrennium goes to the OrganisingCommittees of the two editions of the Games - oneWinter, one Summer - due to take place during thatfour-year period, along with the hosting NOCs. Thepresent quadrennium takes in the Vancouver WinterOlympics earlier this year, the inaugural Youth OlympicGames in Singapore and Innsbruck and the LondonSummer Games to be held in 2012; the next willcomprise the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and and the2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Around a further 40 per cent of the sums generatedby TOP go to the NOCs across the globe. Under 10 ?TOP PARTNERSCoca-ColaNon alcoholic beveragesAcerComputing EquipmentAtos Origin Information Technology DowChemicals, Raw Materials and Compounds used in the manufacture of productsGESelect products and services from GE Energy, GE Healthcare, GE Transportation, GE Infrastructure, GE Consumer & Industrial, GE Advanced Materials and GE Equipment ServicesMcDonald's Retail Food ServicesOmegaTiming, Scoring and Venue Results ServicesProcter & GamblePersonal Care and Household ProductsPanasonicAudio/TV/Video EquipmentSamsungWireless Communication EquipmentVISAConsumer Payment SystemsTHE OLYMPIC PARTNERS (TOP)Left, right and belowThe technologyand expertise ofpartners such asOmega, AtosOrigin, Acer,Samsung and GEis paramount tothe staging ofsuccessful editionsof the Games