London 2012 + Olympic Gold + Team GB = Financial Riches?

August 8, 2013
James Sephton

Within the buoyant atmosphere of national pride and success at the end of the London Games it would have been understandable to assume that winning Olympic gold on home soil would lead successful Team GB athletes to a pot of gold and financial stability. New sponsors streaming out of the woodwork, jumping on the bandwagon of success to support the athletes that made Britain proud.

The reality however was somewhat different. 43 British athletes came away from London 2012 with a gold medal/s round their neck but just a handful of them are still firmly in the public eye and reaping the rewards.
Olympic gold is generally the pinnacle of an athlete’s sporting career, unless you’re a Bradley Wiggins or Lionel Messi, and only a select few have collected the Olympic double – gold and financial success. The question, one year on, is why hasn’t the pot of sponsorship cash stretched further?

[acc_item title=”Post London 2012 fall out”]So much effort and money was thrown behind a home Olympics by British sponsors that many just cannot sustain and/or justify the extended expenditure when public interest has justifiably reduced after the event.

Jessica Ennis-Hill is the main exception to the rule, the poster girl of the London Olympics she had numerous big name sponsors in the build up that she has added to following her success on Super Saturday.[/acc_item] [acc_item title=”High profile Olympic sports”] Understandably some Olympic sports are more high profile than others. There is no getting around that the traditional athletics track & field events have a greater appeal to sponsors and the wider public than canoeing or equestrian for example.

But winning gold in a popular sport does not always guarantee success as Greg Rutherford will testify. He took a surprise gold in the long jump on Super Saturday, post Games was seen almost across almost every TV panel show to generate substantial public exposure but he actually lost sponsors such as Nike; it took till July 2013 for him to pick up his new Asda deal.
[/acc_item] [acc_item title=”The battle with traditional British sports”]Post the London 2012 buzz and with Rio three years away Olympians are battling for the sponsorship pound with the traditional, high audience sports of football, cricket, tennis and rugby. Don’t forget there is a football World Cup in Brazil next year before the Olympians get the chance on South American soil.[/acc_item] [acc_item title=”Team GB success”]The unbelievable success of Team GB with 29 golds and 43 gold medallists has meant that the basic economic theory of supply and demand applies to work against them. The success of 2012 is a far cry from Atlanta 1996 where Team GB won just one gold medal courtesy of Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent. Thirty years ago sponsors must have been fighting over themselves to get their hands on Britain’s golden pair.[/acc_item]

The unfortunate reality is that nothing will compare to the sponsorship expenditure in the build up to our home Olympics and it is clear that there is no guarantee of financial gain following a golden Rio – switched on athletes need to take advantage of the build up to the Olympics, the surest way of guaranteeing some financial reward whatever their result on the biggest stage of all.

Astute brands should already be identifying the stars of the future and planning their Olympic sponsorship deals, therefore athletes putting in good performances now will only increase their chances of financial reward with the anticipation of their success in the inevitable pre Olympic excitement.

James Sephton

Tags: sponsorship,

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *