The 2022 Winter Olympics are here, and tonight’s opening ceremonies will kick-off 19 days of competition across 15 sports. Almost 3,000 athletes from 90 countries will walk into “The Nest” tonight in Beijing with one goal in mind – a gold medal.
For the next 19 days our country will come together in support of the USA and all 225 American athletes competing. As AMERICANS, we will all be watching Mikaela Shiffrin go for gold in Alpine skiing or Chloe Kim and Shaun White defend their titles on the snowboard halfpipe.
A different Beijing Olympics
Beijing will be the first city in Olympic history to host both the Summer and Winter Games. The 2008 summer Olympics was a much simpler time – no COVID restrictions or diplomatic boycotts. Canada, Australia, the UK and the US are in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics over China’s human rights record. Athletes from these four countries are taking part but government representatives will not be in Beijing.
Complicated world of advertising in the Olympics
Did you know that advertising in the Olympics dates back as far as 1896? Brands were allowed to pay for publicity. In 1928 Coca-Cola began its partnership with the Olympics and continues to support the games almost 100 years later.
Olympics advertising is and will continue to be a moneymaker. Brands like Coca-Cola, Airbnb, GE, Intel, Samsung, Procter & Gamble and Visa were all part of the estimated $3 billion in sponsorships for the 2020 Summer Games (postponed to 2021 due to COVID.)
The big question – will these advertisers be back for the 2022 Winter Olympics? Sponsors spent a lot of money in Tokyo just 6 months ago. There is a bit of fatigue as well as limitations on their advertising budgets.
Unlike past games, brands have also chosen to stay silent leading up to this Olympics by not promoting that they are an official sponsor of the 2022 Beijing games. Most say they simply do not want to be stuck in the middle of a diplomatic boycott. But these brands can’t stay silent for too long – insulting the Chinese government would be bad for business.
Where can I watch the Olympics?
Because of the time difference between China and the US – coverage of the opening ceremony already aired at 6:30 a.m. ET this morning on NBC. The primetime presentation will re-air tonight at 8 p.m.
NBC says it will televise nearly 200 hours of live coverage, including 18 nights in primetime (starting at 8 p.m. ET). The network is also promising thousands of hours of streaming Olympics content across NBC, Peacock, USA Network, CNBC, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
So many sports to watch – so many places to get content. I love the Olympics. Go USA!
This blog post was written by Account Director, Jennifer Pupshis.