Olympic Sponsors May Be to Blame for Empty Seats | Fox Business
Word is some 500 seats were empty as U.S. rivals Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte took to the water on Saturday. The first session of men’s basketball had a huge chunk of lower-tier read: best seats go unfilled. And I’m sorry, isn’t gymnastics supposed to be one of the hottest tickets? Two major chunks of seats may as well have had crickets sitting in them. Not the players, but the insects. Chirp. Chirp.
Who’s to blame? The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our Olympic stars but in our sponsors, say critics. The International Olympic Committee has 11 top sponsors who pay big bucks for the rights to slap their logos everywhere.
That, these companies believe, translates directly to millions in sales. Heck, Procter & Gamble (PG: 65.10, +0.01, +0.02%), a USOC sponsor, is saying it believes its affiliation this year will rake in half a billion dollars directly attributable to the glow the Olympics will bestow on its products. The biggest sponsors get handed sheaths of tickets to distribute any way they please. You can bet most go to their top clients. Think of it as a corporate palm-greasing.
There is nothing wrong with this. Until, of course, the clients don’t show up.
Right now, as I peck this out at our FOXSports.com/Sky Sports studios in the London borough of Stratford, there is an investigation under way by the London 2012 organizers into which companies owned the empty seats and why the recipients didn’t show up.
Top IOC sponsors, including Samsung, McDonald’s (MCD: 89.33, +0.14, +0.16%), Coca-Cola, Acer, Visa (V: 130.84, +1.70, +1.32%), Panasonic and Omega, may have some “esplaining” to do. We’re hearing Olympic organizers are even considering a 30-minute rule. If the seat remains empty 30 minutes into an event, it’ll be given away to a hopefully appreciative recipient.
Lord Sebastian Coe, who heads up the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, better come up with something soon, other than his quick defense of the sponsors or his Band-Aid solution of filling empty seats with military personnel and students.
Strange Random Sponsorship Quote:
In Athens I was 17 and I didn’t have any expectations. I was just swimming fast and racing everybody. I didn’t have the joy after my races in 2007. I didn’t want to go to Beijing. I had to for sponsors. – Laure Manaudou
Posted on August 1, 2012, in Article and tagged International Olympic Committee, London, McDonald, Michael Phelps, Olympic, Olympic Games, Ryan Lochte, Sebastian Coe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.