Thursday, April 10, 2008
Who will be the first Olympics sponsor to pull out?
Even though the Dalai Lama has come out in favor of Beijing's hosting of the Olympic Games, it still seems inevitable that some corporate sponsor will drop out of its Olympics deal soon. In the last few weeks, the Beijing Olympics brand has become a tainted symbol of a country that gets capitalism, but has a limited notion of human rights. The first Olympics sponsor that does this may not, in reality, be doing it for the right reasons—its biggest fear may be that its image, too, is being tainted—but someone is going to back out. It won't be an easy decision, as most marketers see China as their last, great commercial frontier but, in being viewed as a hero in other parts of the world, who knows what the bottom line benefits could be? (OK, folks. If I'm wrong about this, I'll call myself on it later.)