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Olympics sponsors in Pyeongchang and Tokyo


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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Wintertime Olympics coming to South Korea in February offer an case in point of the Olympian endeavours generally needed to fulfill company sponsorship aims. Tokyo tells a distinct tale: The coffers are already overflowing for the 2020 Summer time Games.

It is a tale of two cities and two Olympics — winter and summer months.

Pyeongchang is a very little-identified desired destination in one of South Korea’s poorest provinces. It is the ‘little town that could,’ bidding two times unsuccessfully for the Wintertime Olympics before successful on its third try. A remaining drive enabled it to get to its sponsorship target of 940 billion won ($830 million) in September, with just five months to go.

Tokyo is an recognized worldwide money, and the Summer time Games normally make much more enjoyment — and much more dollars. Organizers have lifted 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in sponsorship, two times any earlier Olympics. Global Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates describes it as a extraordinary accomplishment.

The divergent experiences of two Asian host cities illustrate the problems that smaller sized bidders facial area, as perfectly as South Korea’s dependence on the huge household-owned firms that dominate its economy. Not that Tokyo is house-free. The cost of the 2020 Games has almost doubled from initial projections. As with most Olympics, taxpayers will have to foot a good aspect of the monthly bill.



Beginning with the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea has used mega-activities these types of as the soccer Earth Cup to elevate the profile of the state and its producing exporters.

Pyeongchang is distinct. The undertaking was initiated by nearby politicians in an place long alienated politically and economically in South Korea’s rise to prosperity. Some feared persons would confuse the city’s title with Pyongyang, the North Korean money. They could not rely on the automated assistance of the big household-operate conglomerates, identified as “chaebol,” these types of as Samsung, Hyundai and LG.

“When these types of mega-activities had been the country-state’s key undertaking, the chaebol had been referred to as on and had been envisioned to become the primary contributors,” explained Joo Yu-min, a professor at the Nationwide University of Singapore who co-authored a book on South Korea’s use of mega-activities.

In the close, the nationwide federal government brought the conglomerates in, first in the bid course of action, and then for sponsorship. That underscores both of those the outsized position they enjoy in the economy and their shut ties with federal government. They owe a personal debt to special remedy from the federal government, which in change used them to industrialize the state right after the devastating 1950-53 Korean War.

Just after Pyeongchang’s bid was turned down a next time, the federal government referred to as on Samsung and other individuals to assist. The president even pardoned Lee Kun-hee, the patriarch of the Samsung founding household who experienced been an IOC member but voluntarily suspended his membership right after currently being indicted for tax evasion. The IOC reinstated Lee in 2010 with a reprimand and some restrictions, allowing him to lobby heavily for what turned Pyeongchang’s successful bid in 2011.

It took a few decades for the arranging committee to sign its first domestic sponsor, KT Corp., the country’s next-largest cell carrier. All over again, the nationwide federal government asked the conglomerates for assist. All the main ones signed on, right after the office of then-President Park Geun-hye created a special request and multichannel pressures for monetary support, Joo explained.

In other places, firms may well weigh sponsorship conclusions primarily based much more on the marketing and advertising positive aspects. “In South Korea, firms make donations out of a feeling of duty that they are currently being aspect of the nationwide occasion,” explained Park Dong Min, the government director overseeing membership at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Business.

Sponsors who signed up late were not inclined to give as much, for the reason that there was less time to love the marketing and advertising positive aspects. A bank that signed on less than a yr before the Games considerably reduced its sponsorship.

To major it off, a large sports-linked political corruption scandal rocked South Korea in 2016, just when Pyeongchang was earning previous-ditch endeavours to elevate sponsorship.

“Businesses confirmed some reluctance” to sponsor the Olympics, explained Eom Chanwang, director of the Pyeongchang arranging committee marketing and advertising team. “Even so, they even now joined.”

The scandal brought down Park, the president. Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung group, received a five-yr sentence for bribery.

Lee, who has appealed, experienced become de facto main of the Samsung group right after his father Lee Kun-hee, the IOC member pardoned in late 2009, fell unwell. It was the more youthful Lee who signed an arrangement with IOC President Thomas Bach to prolong Samsung Electronics’ sponsorship of the Olympics globally by 2020. Samsung declined interviews for this tale.

With the scandal even now fresh new in people’s minds, main firms have held back again from launching whole-fledged marketing and advertising to endorse the Games.

“Samsung customarily has finished consumer marketing and advertising by the Olympics, but for the reason that its main is in jail, it are unable to do as much these days,” explained Kim Do-kyun, a sports professor at Kyung Hee University Graduate College of Physical Schooling.

The Pyeongchang Games had been the greatest target of the scandal, he explained.


Summer time OF ’64

The president of Japan’s greatest rest room producer was seven decades old when the Olympics first arrived to Japan.

TOTO Ltd. created information in 1964 for its prefabricated rest room-and-bathtub units that assisted pace the building of a luxurious resort, the New Otani, in time for the Games. The company, now identified for superior-tech toilets that baffle some overseas visitors, is back again as a sponsor of Tokyo 2020.

“I feel our company and the Olympics have been bonded by destiny,” TOTO president Madoka Kitamura explained at a sponsorship signing ceremony at the exact resort previous yr.

The $2.7 billion in sponsorship for Tokyo 2020 is much more than a few occasions the authentic estimate. By comparison, sponsorship earnings was $848 million in Rio de Janeiro previous yr, and about $1.2 billion for both of those London 2012 and Beijing 2008. The Wintertime Olympics ordinarily entice less, although Sochi, Russia, lifted $1.2 billion in 2014.

Analysts attribute Tokyo’s achievement to both of those patriotism and a feeling of nostalgia for the 1964 Summer time Games. They had been much much more than a sports contest for Japan. They had been a instant of pride, marking the country’s return as an industrial power right after the devastation of Earth War II and a seven-yr U.S. profession.

“All of Japan even now recognizes the unique position that the 1964 Olympics played in Japan’s stepping out on to the entire world phase,” explained Michael Payne, a former IOC marketing and advertising director who now operates as a consultant. “A lot of of the CEOs of major Japanese firms would have been young young ones back again in ’64 and are incredibly conscious of the position all those Games played for the psychological recovery from the Second Earth War.”

They grew up with the superior-pace “Shinkansen” bullet educate, inaugurated in 1964 contemporary expressways and western-style toilets, all symbols of Japan’s postwar financial development.

“Now they have become organization leaders, they want to add and depart one thing driving that can be remembered for the subsequent 50 decades,” explained Masahiko Sakamaki, government director of marketing and advertising for the Tokyo arranging committee.

He explained that recollections of the recovery may well have boosted desire in sponsorship, as Japan was even now reeling from a lethal 2011 earthquake and tsunami when Tokyo won the bid in 2013.

Sakamaki explained the arranging committee began receiving sponsorship inquiries as soon as it was recognized in 2014, before the official start out of sponsorship contracts in 2015. There is so much desire that the IOC is allowing Tokyo to have a number of sponsors in some types, alternatively of the common one, like in aviation, newspaper publishing, electronics and banking.

TOTO officers will never say how much they are contributing, but media stories say firms in its sponsorship classification give concerning 6 billion and 15 billion yen ($53 million to $133.5 million). Tokyo 2020 wouldn’t remark on all those stories.

“We think our presence as aspect of an all-Japan energy toward a profitable Olympics will boost our favorable brand name graphic,” explained Mariko Shibasaki, the company’s senior planner for sports interaction.

Many thanks in aspect to sturdy sponsorship earnings, the arranging committee has increased its contribution to the cost of the video games from 500 billion to 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion). The sponsorship earnings helps make up 50 % of the income in the privately-operate arranging committee’s functioning spending budget. Other earnings arrives from the Global Olympic Committee, marketing and advertising and ticket product sales.

The over-all cost of the Tokyo Olympics is approximated at 1.4 trillion yen (12.4 billion) with the Tokyo federal government shouldering 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) and the remaining 200 billion yen (1.8 billion) compensated by the nationwide federal government and nearby governments internet hosting activities.


Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. Linked Push author Stephen Wade in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this tale.

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