Jul 23, 2009 at 02:45 PM
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Study: LOCOG Scares Local Marketers

7,000 contracts and £6 billion are up for grabs as LOCOG 2012 continues the process of building out the infrastructure needed for the 2012 Games.

“Firms who have won contracts are being encouraged to advertise opportunities for other companies at every level of the supply chain,” says an Olympic Development Authority spokesperson.

In theory, this offers host country companies of all sizes with the opportunity to showcase their products and services on a national stage.

In practice, however, companies may be more reticent to market around the games because of the restrictions levied in the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act. A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Marketing reveals that 86% of marketers had "poor," "very poor" or "no understanding" of the act.

As a result undertaking marketing activities connected to the London Olympic Games in 2012 is at its lowest since September 2006. Only 18 per cent of respondents say they are “certain” or “very likely” to undertake some activities.

David Thorp, who headed up the study, said “those marketers planning activities must be fully aware of the Olympic Games Act, otherwise we are likely to see a string of court cases brought against the ill-informed.”

The Olympic Games are at no shortage for publicity and promotion and it would seem wise for them to strictly protect their marks (and their all important sponsorship revenue stream). However, it brings up an interesting question for other less universally known event-holders. In our increasing legal vigilance to protect 'sponsorable' assets (logos, marks, and such), are we in some cases sacrificing potentially valuable opportunities to grow awareness, engage new audiences, drive additional ticket sales, procure more merchandising channels, and explore other less direct revenue-driving opportunities?

photocred via flickr: davesandford