All Articles Marketing Marketing Strategy How to capitalize on a major event like the Olympics -- without being an official sponsor

How to capitalize on a major event like the Olympics — without being an official sponsor

2 min read

Marketing Strategy

The Olympic Games always attract a worldwide audience, and companies know their brand can benefit from reaching that large audience. But not all companies choose to pay huge sums of money to become an official sponsor, because they know they can connect with the same audience using marketing campaigns that create an association with the Games, without actually being a sponsor.

Nike is already a recognizable global brand, and people can identify it only by seeing its logo. Nike was one of the companies that decided not to become an official sponsor, instead launching a commercial campaign related to the Games. Its campaign has the theme “Find your greatness” and emphasizes that greatness can be found anywhere. The commercials show athletes in locations worldwide named London — such as London, Ohio. This way, Nike smartly found a way to connect with the London Olympic Games. It still gets the same audience and brand awareness because it is airing ads in 25 countries, and some of the ads have gone viral online.

Here is a sentiment analysis on how people are reacting to the Nike ads on social networks. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.


Nike’s campaigns are a smart way to capitalize on the Olympic theme and attract customers. Other companies can use a similar strategy and connect with consumers watching the Games. Buying ad space at Olympic event venues, for example, can provide companies with other options to market their brand. Although still costly, these ads are cheaper than being a sponsor, and people are still exposed to your brand. It’s smart to center your ad campaign on a sports theme because it will connect more with fans of the Games.

In this episode of “Future of Engagement,” Murray Newlands reviews Nike’s ad strategy without being an official sponsor and how other companies can get their brand seen.


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