PyeongChang Brand Scorecard: Trump’s ‘Brand’ Leads Ambushers

PyeongChang Brand Scorecard

Donald Trump’s ‘Brand’ Leads Ambushers

Korean Companies Come on Strong

Analysis of Brand Warfare in the PyeongChang Games

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February 14, Austin, Texas —  In a surprising turn, Donald Trump’s ‘brand’ (No. 4) sits with IBM (No. 3) atop a hefty list of Ambushers at the PyeongChang Winter Games.  (Kim Jong-un lands at No. 16).  Samsung (No. 1) and Hyundai/Kia (No. 2) lead the Official Olympic Partner Group, while the Alibaba Group (No.3) and Intel (No. 4) lead the Top Worldwide Partners group.  The Alibaba Group is the first Chinese organization to appear on any of GLM’s rankings.  GLM has been measuring the depth of the linkage between and among Olympic top sponsors and their competitors or Non-Affiliated Marketers (NAMs) for the five Olympic Games since The Beijing Summer Games in 2008.   Doing so has allowed a deeper understanding of the dynamics, strategies, and tactics employed by global brands as they intersect with the world of sports.

GLM, a pioneer in the innovative use of Big Data, uses its proprietary tools in analyzing this data.   There are a number of trends one can see even in the earliest stages of the PyeongChang Games.

  1. The fact that the Games are being held in what’s considered one of the most dangerous places on the planet only highlights, the beauty, the compelling drama, and the tales of the individual efforts each of the athletes must exert to even have the slimmest of chances to compete at this level. This is a testament to humankind and the hope that evidently does spring eternal, at least in the hearts of these competitors to undergo the grueling ordeals they must undergo.
  2. Seeing the two Koreas march under a single flag — stylishly elegant in its simplicity — is a huge geopolitical event in itself. It reminds this reporter of the tales of soccer games breaking out on the pock-marked, bloodied fields of No Mans Land, between the trenches during some of the bleakest hours of World War One.
  3. The World is caught up in the drama not only between the athletes and nations but also the battle among the brands that are literally paying billions for the privilege.

Overall the field is led by some familiar faces, GE, McDonald’s and IBM.  The surprise here is that Mickey D’s has pulled back its sponsorship (in mid-contract yet — a great surprise to the IOC).  Nevertheless, it is still top of mind to the global audience.  After spending billions since the’60’s beginning with their brilliant ‘Hamburger Airlift,” you would think they earned their brand equity here.  This Olympiad, IBM is a Non-affiliated Marketer (NAM), our polite term for Ambusher, but its brand is burning bright.

Other points of interest include Atos Origin dead last,  in the 39th place.  Not to worry since this is their strategic position they long to occupy. The French system integrator has a one-on-one selling model that works just fine, thank you.

P&G remains a puzzle.  They seemed to have peaked with their ‘Moms’ campaign not so long ago. They remain at No. 31 with a Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) of only 5.59.  Be sure to follow this one.  In fact, look over the current scorecard, it contains a number of nascent storylines that require close attention.

Remember you can but the book that covers all the marketing campaigns that we’ve analyzed since Beijing.  Our analyses are recorded in an ever-growing number of Sports Marketing and B-School texts.

In the chart below, we have Samsung and McDonald’s listed twice because they both occupy two spots on the charts. This can be confusing.

According to Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor, “GLM is the first research institute to document the ‘value leaks™’ that Olympic Sponsors experience at the hands of ‘non-affiliated marketers’ (NAMs) that happen by chance, circumstance or, ever more likely, cleverly orchestrated stealth campaigns that include the newest social media tricks, tactics, and strategy.”

Pyeongchang has been tracked for the last two years, even as Tokyo and Beijing and Paris are currently under intense scrutiny by GLM today.

Going back over the Games since London (the current high-water mark for successful Games), you can see that the Worldwide Partners scored highest in Sochi with the Non-affiliated Marketers scoring highest in Rio.  Thus far the Top Worldwide Sponsors show a small, but comfortable lead over the Official Partners with the Ambushers trailing both by a significant margin.


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