#FunFactFriday – The Olympics and PR
With the delayed 2020 Olympics set to kick off in Tokyo, Japan in just over a month, the event is a golden opportunity for not only the athletes, but the sponsors, too. However, with recent public pushback about the games continuing – is there a future crisis ahead for the Olympics?
The first Olympics Games took place almost 2,800 years ago in the town of Olympia, and since then certainly a lot has changed. This year plans to mark the first “robotic” Olympic Games in history, as companies like Toyota and Panasonic are sending their robotic helpers to the Games to help with tasks such as delivering drinks and snacks to spectators, retrieving javelins and shotputs and assisting audience members in wheelchairs.
According to The Washington Post, more than 11,000 athletes and 25,000 journalists are expected to attend the Games – however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stated that only spectators from Japan will be allowed and have not yet decided what the capacity will be for the fans that do attend.
Though the Olympics are meant to bring countries together to compete on the biggest stage in front of an international audience, the resistance from those living in the host city is strong. One May poll from Japan found that a staggering 83 percent of people believe that the Olympics should be either postponed or scrapped. Most of this opposition is due to the ongoing pandemic and the fear that the games being held will only risk more infections.
Despite this, the IOC plans to carry on and assures that it will be a safe event for all. The Olympics will also have no shortage of brand sponsors with the usual worldwide companies like P&G and Coca-Cola staying on, while new sponsors like Airbnb jump on board for the first time. For most brands, the opportunity to become an Olympic sponsor leads to the ultimate return on investment, no matter how much they pay to be a part of it.
While we all love to see our favorite athletes compete for a gold medal (which are actually 92.5 percent silver plated with gold), those of us in public relations cannot help but look to the future and ask ourselves – could this event lead to a lesson in crisis management? The HMA team will keep an eye out and will report back here.