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sports in the spotlight

London 2012 Olympics Gets Cashless with Visa, High Tech Chic with Stella McCartney x Adidas

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 23, 2012 11:28 AM

With the opening ceremony on July 27th, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games watch is heating up. This week Visa Europe unveiled its pre-Olympics TV campaign, featuring Usain Bolt (the brand’s "Europe Innovation Ambassador") racing through London. Adidas also unveiled the Stella McCartney-designed Olympics apparel that British athletes will be wearing throughout the competitions.

First, to the world's fastest man: "Bolt embodies speed, effortlessness and performance – the ability to deliver even on the world’s biggest stage. Similarly for Visa Europe, London 2012 is a showcase for our latest payments technology including contactless and mobile payments, which will enable cardholders to experience a secure, reliable and fast payments infrastructure for the Games and beyond,” said Mariano Dima, EVP Product and Marketing Solutions, Visa Europe.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Twitter, Foursquare to Police Ambush Marketing for London 2012 Olympics

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2012 10:06 AM

The London 2012 Summer Olympics organizers are getting ready to do battle against ambush marketers, the stealth marketing and advertising that undermines official sponsors' efforts. It's an issue that's top of mind for LOCOG — the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games — and social networks are ready to help.

“Twitter has agreed to prevent brands from using the social network for Olympic 'ambush marketing' attempts,” according to eConsultancy. LOCOG has signed £670m ($1 billion) in sponsorship deals so it doesn’t want any of those partners getting upset about nonsponsors stealing their thunder during the Games.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

London 2012 Watch: Anheuser-Busch InBev Ready to Quench Olympic Thirst

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2012 01:01 PM

When the Olympics kick off this summer, sports fans across the globe will be gathering at their local pubs and watering holes to take in some synchronized swimming and canoe racing, among other things. Plus, there will be quite a few tourists wandering around London in search of a good stiff pint. 

With all that beer drinking expected to be taking place, Anheuser Busch InBev wants the world to know that it is ready for the expected uptick in consumption.

"We saw the impact of the last [soccer] World Cup in the U.K., which was outstanding, especially for Budweiser brands," said the company’s CFO, Felipe Dutra, Nasdaq reports. Bud sponsored the 2012 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and has since extended its sponsorship of the event to 2022.

To be clear, InBev doesn’t have any kind of official deal with the Olympics. Instead, Dutch rival Heineken NV “is a 'third-tier' sponsor for the Games, allowing it sell its beers and ciders including Bulmers, Foster's and Kronenbourg, at official sporting venues and hospitality events in the U.K.,” Nasdaq reports.

Still, InBev is expecting consumption of its products to go up and wants to be ready to provide parched souls with some thirst-quenchers. We'll drink to that.

Image VIA Shutterstock

in the spotlight

London 2012 Watch: British PM Backs Dow as Mega-McDonald's Defended

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 12, 2012 02:31 PM

Dow Chemical isn’t backing out as a sponsor of the Olympics this summer in London and its name will be plastered (after all) over the stadium that will host the Opening Ceremonies. This, of course, has not been sitting right with folks in India, where the disastrous gas leak of 1984 by Union Carbide, which has since become a subsidiary of Dow, killed more than 20,000 people, according to the Indian government.

The Indian Olympic Association has hinted that it may pull out of London 2012 because of Dow’s involvement, even though Dow continues to point out that it did not own Union Carbide at the time of the disaster.

Protests notwithstanding, British Prime Minister David Cameron told CNN-IBN on Sunday that "it would be a very sad day" if India decided to boycott the Games.Continue reading...

it's on!

London 2012 Olympics Organizers Gird for Ambush Marketers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2012 10:01 AM

It's estimated that more than 10,000 athletes from 200-plus nations will be competing in this summer’s Olympics in London, but there will be an even fiercer competition going on behind the scenes.

Ambush marketing, the art of getting your corporation’s name attached to an event without spending the kazillions involved in officially doing so, could be entering its heyday with the London Games — even though organizers and lawmakers have made all sorts of rules and regulations against such things happening in order to protect the companies that have already forked over big bucks (and powerful pounds) to be involved.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

150 Days to Go, London Hoists the Olympic Rings

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 29, 2012 09:59 AM

With London getting ready for the Summer Olympic Games, the Mayor's office this week released a time lapse video showing how the huge Olympic Games rings were built ahead of their journey on the Thames.

There are less than 150 days left before the London 2012 Olympics kick off. So what better way to commemorate the event than to have Mayor Boris Johnson on hand to watch 33-foot-high Olympic rings get tugged down the Thames while kids wave flags and a band makes music? 

Get a look now, Londoners. The rings are going back into storage till the actual Games, according to reading...

fashion week

London Fashion Week: Burberry Reigns (and Rains) Over British Fashion

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 21, 2012 10:29 AM

Above, guests at Monday's rain-making Burberry Prorsum women's Autumn/Winter 2012 collection at London Fashion Week including praise the brand for being not only fashion- but digital-forward, while Vogue's Anna Wintour praises designer Christopher Bailey for bringing polish and global sophistication to British fashion. Check out the runway show below.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

London 2012 Watch: IOC Keeps Olympics Vow to Dow

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 17, 2012 06:06 PM

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the India Olympic Committee sent 56 athletes to compete and came home with its best performance in history: one gold (men’s 10m air rifle shooting) and two bronze (wrestling and boxing).

It remains unclear if any Indian athletes will be showing up at the London 2012 Summer Games due to the massive presence of Olympic sponsor Dow Chemicals, which is “sponsoring a $11.4-million decorative wrap that will be installed around London's Olympic Stadium,” according to the Associated Press.

The problem stems from Dow’s ownership of Union Carbide, which it bought in 2000, 16 years after Union’s plant in Bhopal had a gas leak that “killed an estimated 15,000 people and injured half a million,” the AP notes. While Dow didn’t own Union when the incident happened, critics say the company is “responsible for lingering groundwater contamination and other issues,” the AP notes.Continue reading...

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