Most people don’t realize there is a hierarchy of advertisers at the Olympics. There are Exclusive Suppliers, Sponsors, Partners and Worldwide Partners. Coke is a Worldwide Partner, while Adidas is just a Partner! UPS is a Sponsor, Snickers is a Exclusive Supplier. As if that’s not enough there’s a lower tier of Games Suppliers. They all attempt to tie up the category they represent, by providing exclusive services to the athletes and visitors, and ultimately the larger global audience.
But I never realized how an exclusive sponsorship at the Olympics could be a bad strategic move. Rohit Bhargava reports on how it has backfired for Visa:
“The incremental sales and revenue for Visa cards at the Games may be good, but the word of mouth generated for Visa at the world’s largest sporting event is nearly all negative.”