COVID-19

Loyal sponsors despite COVID

They will forever remain COVID games. Disliked sporting event by the Japanese, partly boycotted by Toyota. A context that could scare away sponsors from Canada and Quebec, but most of them stayed true to our athletes.

“We have to admit that the companies continued to collaborate. It would be easy to say: the pandemic has affected our revenues, but no, they stayed, and it’s money that goes directly to the sports system, ”said Jean Gosselin, director of marketing and communications at the National Sports Institute of Quebec in Quebec. interview with Newspaper

But this year, the situation has become more complicated for athletes due to the cancellation of several competitions. They were unable to declare themselves to the public and create their own media personality.

So there won’t be a big publicity stunt, as we saw with McDonald’s, which headlined diver Alexander Despati, or Red Bull sponsored short track speed skater Charles Amlen.

Visa, Canadian Tire, Kraft …

However, several companies continued to support athletes from Canada and Quebec. Visa, Cheerios, Canadian Tire, Petro-Canada, or Air Canada responded.

Other big players like Kraft will be promoting several athletes during the Olympic period, including Quebec diver Megan Benfeito, a three-time Olympic medalist.

Kraft also has a website online that can record personalized messages for athletes.

Long-term sponsorship of RBC

For its part, Royal Bank, which has supported the Olympic Games since 1947, decided to sponsor about fifty athletes, and this form of sponsorship spread over several years.

Therefore, we will highlight Canadian swimming star Penny Olexiac, as well as two very famous athletes from Quebec: judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier, bronze medalist of 2012, and synchronized swimmer Jacqueline Simono.

Other Quebec companies have also established long-term partnerships such as the Cascades with triathlete Amelie Cretz, who will be at their second Games.

Less attractive brand?

Despite the loyalty of sponsors, some major advertisers such as Toyota have decided to remove their ads from Japanese TV channels due to the unpopularity of the Games.

Manufacturer executives also boycotted the opening ceremony, as did executives from Panasonic, Bridgestone, NEC and Fujitsu, who were reluctant to participate in the event, which had become toxic to the Japanese population.

According to André Richelieu, professor of marketing and sports management at UQAM, an Olympic brand that has already lost its luster is in danger of being harmed by these Games that few wanted.

“We didn’t cancel the Olympics for money because we expect additional advertising revenue of $ 500 million, not counting TV rights. Japan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had to show wisdom and show that the health risks of the international community are more important than image, money and ego, ”he said.

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