Olympic Marketing in Time of Covid

Olympic Marketing 

in Time of Covid



With quite a few twists and turns, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics finally kicked off after a year-long delay. On many levels, it is a historical event where obstacles were overcome and a new chapter of the Olympic spirit “faster, higher stronger, together” will be written by the jointly by the Tokyo Olympics Committee and athletes from all over the world.



Games off Fields


The battle grounds are not limited to the stadiums, what matters most to brands are the competitions off the field. It has been an unusual start for the marketing campaigns of brands that pivot towards the Olympics, as most were forced to postpone or make major changes due the influence of the pandemic. Even so, sponsors or not, brands still managed to deliver exceptional results. As marketers watch and learn from this unprecedented event, we can also use this opportunity as a means of better preparing for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics



Tokyo Olympics Marketing Stars


As one of the Olympics’ veteran sponsors, for the Tokyo Olympics, the Coca‑Cola Company and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are teaming up to promote their shared values of diversity and inclusion and introduce Gen Z fans to the Olympics through the “I Belong Here” digital platform launched ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with the feature enabling users to “recreate” iconic Olympic moments with graphics.


Five years after its masterpiece ‘Thank You Mom’ for Rio, the FMCG giant Procter and Gamble has unveiled a postponed multi-brand campaign themed “Lead with Love” inspired by the many Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are not only achieving athletic greatness but are also committing to acts of good and making a positive difference in their communities.



2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Outlook


Most likely, the 2022 Winter Olympics will still take place, albeit under the shadow of COVID-19 which is unfortunately still prevalent internationally. Brands will need to partially adopt the marketing approach of the Tokyo Olympics, while thinking globally and locally about their strategies, and most importantly, taking advantage of the digital era we are living in.  We must admit that the age of easy flyers and hard-sell advertisements is long gone and has been difficult to attract the attention of modern consumers. Brands should choose interactive marketing channels with a sense of connection based on their product positioning. For example, social media matrix marketing is a key way in order to engage with millions of fans and viewers.


In the case of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, trending topics such as “pandemic”, “post-pandemic era”, “together and united”, “5G”, “sustainability” may be intensively discussed on social media platforms. Ponderously attaching the brand to the Olympic culture is far from enough, brands should further study Olympic spirits and even take advantage of trending topics to resonate with the audience.



Our Thoughts


To the extent of its wide audience coverage and global influence, the Olympic Games is an excellent communication point for brands. By participating in the feast of marketing opportunities, brands can take this chance to quickly build brand awareness, as well as strengthen consumers’ favorable impressions towards them. Olympic marketing is no longer a privilege of event sponsors as digital platforms continue to develop. As long as the brand stays agile with its marketing channels and approaches, and closely related their brand concept to Olympic spirits, it can build a connection and succeed for a much longer term than the Olympics’ timeframe. 



Contact Us


If you are looking for ideas to better deliver your brand messages during upcoming sporting events or the 2022 Winter Olympics, feel free to contact our team: info@eastant.it