Sports Marketing Debacles Essay

The 2014 Sochi Olympics were probably the most controversial events in 2014 in terms of marketing because many large companies, which traditionally sponsor Olympic events refused from sponsorship out of the politically volatile climate accompanying Sochi. To put it more precisely, there were just five major sponsors out of fifteen, while ten the rest refused to sponsor the 2014 Sochi Olympics to save their brand image and avoid unnecessary marketing losses.

The major issue was the negative political background of Russian authorities and Russia, as a country challenging the existing world order, and the possible negative impact of such background on companies, who decide to sponsor the event. In fact, the Olympics are traditionally very attractive for the largest companies, such as Coca-Cola, but the involvement in the sponsorship of the 2014 Sochi Olympics brought rather negative effects, for who decided to sponsor the games. For example, Coca-Cola suffered from the violation of homosexual rights in Russia, when even the word ‘gay’ had to be removed from Coca-Cola bottles. As a result, the sponsorship rather deteriorated the brand image of the company than facilitated the marketing expansion and shaped the customer behavior positively.

The issue was apparently non-systematic and determined by political volatility. Other Olympic Games normally contributed to the considerable marketing benefits of sponsors, who reached the global customer group fast and effectively. However, traditional marketing did not work in Sochi. The only way to make marketing effective was to distance from the authorities and Russia to promote the brand. In fact, there was an ethical dilemma whether to sponsor the Olympics as the global event or refuse because of the negative background of Russia and Russian officials. The refusal would mean a sort of boycott of Russia but it would punish the entire world as the global sport event could be spoiled. Eventually a minor part of the major sponsors participated in the event but their involvement rather evoked negative responses of customers outside Russia.

 

References:

Riezebos, R, et al. (2003). Brand management: a theoretical and practical approach, Pearson Education, Harlow, Essex.

The Branding Games: Lessons in Sports Marketing from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. 2015. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ViralGains/viralgains-whats-up-in-viral-february-sochi-olympics-2014

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]