Olympian efforts all round

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The Independent Online

Many would presume the likes of Coca-Cola and Adidas hand over hundreds of millions of pounds for sponsorship of the Olympics then relax in the knowledge that the benefits will roll in. The reality is more stressful, particularly for those employed in marketing and communications roles within these firms.

Such executives are these days forced to justify every pound spent on the Olympics and often find themselves plunged into reputational problems around their involvement. It is increasingly difficult for the sponsors to get their messages across. There are justifiably strict rules on the use of logos, while TV advertising is largely useless during these games because most of us are glued to the BBC.

Not only do sponsors have to be creative in communicating the value of their Olympic backing, they have to outthink rival non-sponsors, who employ clever guerrilla marketing tactics. So when non-sponsor Nike runs its 'Find your greatness' campaign – cheekily using London references around the world – sponsor Adidas has to trump it by placing David Beckham in a Westfield Stratford photo-booth to surprise shoppers and gain media coverage.

The head of client servicing at Locog was overheard saying that the sponsors were "all very happy", which is good news for future funding of the games. However there's still a month of hard work ahead for the sponsors' marketers and PRs, followed by weeks of analysing whether it was all worthwhile.