The world’s best Paralympians are in final preparation and ready to take the stage for The London 2012 Paralympic Games (scheduled August 29 – Sept 9, 2012) as the Paralympic Movement returns to the country of its “spiritual” birthplace. They will be the biggest Paralympic Games ever featuring 4,280 athletes from 166 countries who will compete in 20 sports.
- 2.2m – Number of tickets sold
- 2.4m – Number of tickets available
- 4,280 – Number of Paralympic athletes competing
- 20 – Number of sports in Paralympic Games
The London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ (LOCOG) vision is that rather than making them different from previous Paralympics, they want to take the best aspects of previous Games and bring them together.
On September 9, 2010 tickets for the Paralympic Games went on sale. In the three-week ticket window more than 1 million tickets were sold, a record for the Paralympic Games, with a number of sports already sold-out. The day before tickets went on sale London’s Trafalgar Square staged International Paralympic Day. More than 100 British and international athletes attended the 12 hour spectacular which involved demonstrations in 10 Paralympic sports.
London 2012 has also secured the biggest commercial deal ever for a Paralympic Games with UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. The company boasts 21.5 million customers each week all of whom will be exposed to London 2012 Paralympic branding in the lead-up to, and during, the Games.
The Paralympic Games are a great opportunity for TOP sponsors to extend their Olympic themed marketing efforts and for newcomers to get in on the action as well. The Games will be broadcast via Channel 4 which has divided it’s advertising slots into mixed packages of eight-10 spots, both at peak and non-peak times. With such a large anticipated viewership, advertising at the Paralympic Games is a must for Olympic sponsors and a great opportunity to get a step ahead of the competition for Olympic newcomers.
Most existing IOC sponsors will be re-using their Olympic marketing campaigns for the 2012 Paralympic Games, using it as a transition to post-Games time. These companies often face the difficulty of building anticipation for a different campaign in the short two week span between the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Instead, they feel their campaigns should maintain a sense of continuity from the Olympics, simply changing the focus to a Paralympic profile. For example, Adidas will be re-using their Olympic star banner, slightly tweaked by featuring Paralympic athlete, Ellie Simmonds.
Canadian Paralympic Team Sponsors include Pfizer, Petro-Canada, Air Canada, Bell, Chevrolet, Hudson’s Bay Company, RBC and Rona.
Of note, Oscar Pistorius, the blade runner will be the first athlete to complete in an able bodied and disabled Games. His accomplishments continue to expand the reach and interest of the Paralympic Games.
Oscar Pistorius left the London 2012 Olympic Games with no medal, but nevertheless as a champion in the eyes of the world. Running on two carbon fibre “blades,” Pistorius raced in the men’s 400 metre event, advancing to the semi-finals. As the heat ended, eventual gold medal winner, Kirani James asked to trade name bibs, out of respect for what Pistorius had accomplished. Now, Pistorius will face a new field of competitors on the same field of play.