The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day. The backbone of Canada’s Olympic movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games.* Source: Canadian Olympic Team Website
Some of the funding is generated from Corporate Sponsors:
- # of World Wide Partners: 11
- # of Canadian Premier National Partners: 6
- # of Supporters: 10
- # of Suppliers: 38
- # of Canadian Olympic Athletes London 2012: 277
Here’s a look at what some of the Premiere Partners and Supporters are doing to leverage their investment with the COC for London 2012.
Bell [National Partner]
Bell has a history of sponsoring the Olympics, which really took off in 2008 when they launched their new brand. After further developing the brand during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, their main focus for the London 2012 Olympic campaign is centered on the new multi-screen culture of watching major events. Today’s at home Olympic viewers rarely watch the Games on just one screen – they’ve got the T.V. on one sport, their laptop steaming another, and using their phone or tablet to exchange their opinions via social media.
“Our Olympic campaign will underscore that no matter which communications service you need – TV, Internet or mobile, consumer or business – things are definitely better with Bell,” said Rick Seifeddine, Senior Vice President, Brand for Bell. “By highlighting Bell’s industry-leading investments in the best network technology and innovative services like Fibe TV and Mobile TV, we’re letting Canada know that Bell is on a roll, and we’d like you to join us.”
Bell’s campaign features a CTV Olympics London 2012 App that shows stats, highlights and more, along with a “Make It Epic” mobile app that will allow fans to create and share their own “epic” videos. Bell is also behind the “Bell 2012 Games Scheduler” on Facebook that will allow fans to look up what sports are on, and where they can watch them. The campaign will have 19 TV commercials and outdoor, print and online advertising.
Rona [National Partner]
Rona is a Canadian hardware retailer based out of Quebec. Rona has been a sponsor of Canadian athletes for years, partnering with Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams since 2006 and they’ve extended their support of Canadian athletes through 2012. Rona has learned a lot about Olympic sponsorship in the past 5 and is revitalizing their campaign to maximize national impact. Rona will be investing approx. 20% of their Olympic marketing budget into digital, a huge increase from the Vancouver 2012 investment.
“It was challenging for us to make Canadians feel as excited about a Games that was thousands of kilometres away,” said Rona’s executive vice-president of marketing, Karim Salabi, adding that the large time difference from London was a crucial factor. Rona decided to skip heavy TV advertising investments due to the fact that most Canadians would miss them, a key learning from during the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Rona’s digital campaign includes a virtual relay called “Plant Your Feet”, which allows users to register and track their walking distance. Rona will plant one tree for each kilometer walked or run by Canadians in support of the Team Canada athletes.
Apart from their digital campaigns, Rona will also be releasing a more traditional marketing program focused on their commercial, “A Win For Us”. The commercial shows various Canadian handymen travelling across Canada in a relay race – but instead of a baton, they’re passing off a screwdriver.
By supporting Canadian Olympians, Rona found the ultimate platform to launch their “Plant Your Feet” movement where their environmental minds and vision of a healthy future come together. By offering to plant a tree for every kilometer run, they are giving Canadians a reason to get active and help sustain our planet.
HBC [National Partner]
This year is the third Olympics that the Hudson’s Bay Company has outfitted Canada’s athletes from opening to closing ceremony. To read all about their Olympic involvement, check out their full sponsor profile here
Air Canada [Supporter]
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline and is the official airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams. Air Canada has been sponsoring the Olympics since 2006 and has recently extended their support to 2016.
“As the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Air Canada is proud to be flying Canadian athletes to London. Just as our athletes strive for excellence in their athletic performance, Air Canada strives for excellence in its environmental performance,” said Dave Legge, Senior Vice President – Operations at Air Canada. “Today we will be flying some of Canada’s best athletes, in the best environmental way – using biofuel to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The flight, that transported Team Canada, operates on an interesting mixture of fuel and biofuel, made from recycled cooking oil. The flight generated 10% fewer emissions than a normal jet, and was Air Canada’s second biofuel powered flight. This technology is definitely on the path to a greener future.
This sponsorship opportunity has given Air Canada the ability to form a personal connection with consumers during an emotionally-charged event such as the Olympics. Using their new ” Travel Muse” campaign, Air Canada is moving away from “rational” advertising and attempting to position themselves as a “purveyor of authentic experiences”. What better time to start than during the Olympics?
General Mills [Supplier]
With General Mills’ emphasis on healthy food and an active lifestyle, the brand aligns perfectly with the spirit of the Olympics. General Mills Canada has supported Canadian Olympic athletes since 1998 and has expanded their relationship through 2016. In the UK, General Mills plans to focus their Olympic campaign on their Nature Valley brand – the number one selling cereal bar in the UK by creating the biggest sampling campaign in General Mills history.
“We hope to distribute about 11 million bars to the athletes, public, media, volunteers – in addition to selling Nature Valley bars to the estimated 10 million ticket holders for the Games,” says White.
In Canada, General Mills’ popular brand, Cheerios, has created an Olympic campaign centered on encouraging “cheer” which was conceived for the Vancouver 2012 Games. Fans can send in cheer messages via Facebook and Twitter, and those messages get passed directly onto Canadian athletes. Also, on Cheerios Olympic boxes are cheer cards that can be cut out and mailed to athletes in London carrying encouraging messages and positive Canadian cheer (a strategic partnership with Canada Post)
General Mills is furthering their Olympic involvement by giving Canadians the chance to win Olympic clothing through purchasing select products. By purchasing one package of cereal, you can get a free t-shirt, and by purchasing two packages of Nature Valley/Betty Crocker Snacks you’ll receive a free pair of flip-flops.
General Mills’ goal when sponsoring the Olympics is to strive for a healthier, stronger generation of Canadians. Capitalizing on the endorsement of world-class athletes and their stories, General Mills continues to provide an unprecedented amount of support for athletes and Canadian sports. By posting athletes’ information on the cereal boxes as well as sending them cheer cards, General Mills is investing in our athletes and the positive impact they have on our country – something any Canadian would be proud to support. Since the Olympics are a time of such high emotions and passion, brand advocates are created through the emotional connection they build with their consumers.
About “The Business of the Olympics”
The Olympics are one of the most watched events in the world. With so much potential revenue at stake, what makes a successful campaign? How can businesses launch marketing campaigns that are creative, innovative, and universal? THE KMAC GROUP’s “The Business of the Olympics” blog series answers these questions by analyzing select Olympic sponsors, on a global and domestic scale, highlighting their campaign successes and areas of improvement, as well as taking a look at key marketing practices during the Olympics such as “ambush” marketing, Olympic clothing licenses, and the risks involved with marketing during the Games. KMAC has advised and executed Olympic programs with sponsors for the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 Games.