For corporate sponsors, the stakes are high. The opening ceremonies are expected to be the first television sporting event watched live around the world by more than one billion people. In some cases, sponsors have shelled out more than $80 million for the rights to associate themselves with the Beijing Games. And as the first Olympics in China, the event is being used by multinational brands as an opportunity to build credibility with a booming consumer market that is playing an increasingly important role in their global sales.
June Teufel Dreyer, a China specialist at the University of Miami told Evan Osnos of the Chicago Tribune that advertisers "want to get their logos in front of the spectators [and] they will say that the Olympics are about sport, not politics." Dreyer added that she didn't expect any widescale pullout of advertising dollars from the events big corporate sponsors such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola.-----
photo by nimboo (CC)