More than 40 are official Summer Olympics sponsors, and still other potent marketers are in the competition as sponsors of teams or Olympic-related events. All face the challenge of an Olympic Games staged in the U.S.: a superabundance of marketer tie-ins that threaten the ability of any one campaign to stand out.
Who will generate real consumer impact in this melee? So far, we give the early lead to Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, which has successfully made Coke and the Olympics almost synonymous. Also with a chance to win medals for impact: McDonald's "USA wins you win" consumer promotion; Frito-Lay's new flight of "Pretzel Boy" TV ads (with sitcom star Jason Alexander); Reebok's commercials with Dallas Cowboy Emmett Smith. There are other contenders, to be sure. So cheer on the athletes, but also enjoy this Olympics of marketing.