Few sponsors discussing Olympics in filings as mentions among corporates fell in the first half of 2021, says GlobalData

Sponsors seem to be showing a lack of enthusiasm for the Olympics this year, as corporate discussions around the event were down by over 40% in H1 2021, compared to H1 2020 and H1 2019, according to the Filing Analytics platform by GlobalData. The data and analytics company notes there is no dearth of sponsors and partners for the event, but these companies seem to be unnerved by the lack of spectators at the event and anti-Olympic sentiment.

Rinaldo Pereira, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In June 2021, certain Japanese firms suggested a further postponement of the games to garner more spectators. However, the Japanese authorities are focused on going ahead with games starting 23 July with no spectators.”

Conrad Wiacek, Head of Sport Analysis and Consulting at GlobalData, comments: “The lack of fan attendance is proving to be a deterrent for many brands not associated directly with the Games. In the past, we saw the likes of Beats attempting ‘ambush marketing’ within the context of the Games, and while there may still be brands who will attempt this, the fact that the Games have been delayed, are in an ‘unfriendly’ time zone for Western brands, and the general caution around COVID-19 – coupled with reduced budgets – means many brands will be focused on their official partnerships.”

An analysis of GlobalData’s Filing Analytics Database reveals that only 15% of sponsors tracked discussed the Olympics in their 2021 filings. Aggreko and Coca-Cola saw the most mentions in both 2020 and 2021.

Pereira continued: “While firms discussing the Tokyo Olympics are largely neutral and not overly optimistic, sentiments were up in Q2 2021, compared to Q1 2021. Companies’ Q2 2021 sentiments around the Olympics were driven by the Japanese Government’s push for the games and the positivity of broadcasting companies. However, sentiment growth in the quarter was limited. Losses are likely to mount for lodging, airlines and retail, with the games being held behind closed doors. Sponsors involved in ticketing operations will also feel the pinch.”

Further, the Japanese authorities are positive around the vaccine drive in the country. Philipp Rosenbaum, Senior Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, suggests that the management of the pandemic was better in Japan than European countries and the Americas. Yet, Japan’s vaccination program was slow.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Analysing the Potential Commercial Impact of COVID-19 on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’, domestic sponsorship broke records standing at $3.3bn. While ticketing revenue was estimated to be around $800m.

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