As the world (and London's Heathrow airport) bids adieu to the Summer Olympians and gets ready for the Paralympic Games, a few thoughts to leave you with:
IOC Chief Rogge Celebrates His Last Games
International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge is getting ready to pass on the leadership torch and he is ending his long reign a happy man. Rogge toasted London’s Games Sunday, saying that these Olympics were “absolutely fabulous.” What bigger compliment can there be?
London 2012 Will Be Paid Off in Nine Years
The Summer Olympics may have cost billions for London to throw, including all the lost revenue from tourists who were scared away and residents who worked at home during the Games. But the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that the whole extravagant shebang will pay for itself by 2021. The big jump will come in 2015, the think tank estimates, when the country will start generating an extra £1.8billion ($2.8 billion) a year due to the Games.
Online Olympics Boost NBC’s Numbers
People aren’t just turning on those boxes in their living rooms to watch TV anymore. Television has gone online and NBC reaped the benefits during the Olympics. The National Inflation Association reports that the Comcast-owned Peacock network delivered 45 million live video streams in just the first 10 days of the Olympics to nearly 10 million U.S. pay-TV subscribers. Those who watched these video streams were all subscribers of programs that gave them CNBC or MSNBC. Imagine how many more streams NBC could have had if it had opened things up to those who didn’t have those channels on their pay-TV programs.
The BBC Wins Digital Relay
Executing up to 24 simultaneous streams from the Olympics was no easy feat, but the BBC pulled off its digital Games coverage with grace and ease as it handled more than 106 million user requests for streams, with 12 million sessions for video on mobile. What's more, as the BBC's Internet blog details, "Over a 24-hour period on the busiest Olympic days, Olympic traffic to bbc.co.uk exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of FIFA World Cup 2010 games."
Kellogg’s Leverages Olympic Sponsorship
Kellogg’s has a few gold medal winners in its sponsorship fold, including gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Jordyn Wieber as well as archer Jake Kaminski, swimmer Rebecca Soni, and beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh. Medal winners all, Kellogg’s is continuing to leverage the relationship to push the idea of a great start leading to fantastic finishes.
Olympians Join Forces to Fight Hunger
The athletes were forbidden to promote anything during the Games, but LOCOG's brand police surely won’t be getting upset that a few Olympic stars are using their celebrity to help raise awareness of child malnutrition in developing nations. The athletes, including Team Great Britain superstar Mo Farah, have met with politicians from a number of nations yesterday to help push the cause. “The UK hopes to get commitments from other world leaders and multinational firms to help prevent 25 million children aged under five suffering stunted growth by the time of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” according to the BBC.
London Games Officially the Greenest Ever
With each passing year, the world gets more and more environmentally aware, so it makes sense that the London Olympics organizers aimed to make sustainability a central pillar of these Games, and they can take pride they met the challenge. The independent Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 are saying that these Games achieved its goals for recycling and regeneration, though “it said much more could be done to minimize the impact of future Olympic Games on people and the planet,” the BBC reports. Venues were constructed from at least a quarter recycled materials and the Olympic Park regenerated a poorly tended area.
British Retailers Got a Boost From Team GB
Team Great Britain did better than anyone expected on the medal front and now British retailers are starting to feel the benefit. Sales are “soaring” of “bikes, sportswear, picnic foods and TVs,” according to the Guardian. Retail traffic had been down in the first week of the Olympics but things picked up a bit in the second week of the Games and the UK’s largest bike seller, Halfords, “reported higher sales of Boardman and its own-brand road bikes.” Meanwhile, another cycle retailer, Evans Cycle, has had a 35% uptick in sales since Britain’s Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and then a gold medal at the start of the Games. Plenty of other categories – swimming trunks, rowing machines, tennis gear, beer, snacks, cleaning products etc. – have gone up as well.
Michael Phelps Retires ... to a Bath for Louis Vuitton
America's golden medal swimmer Michael Phelps will never compete in the Olympics again. Now all the 27-year-old has to do is keep himself out of trouble, show up on America’s screens every four years, and attach his name to whatever products he thinks will help keep his bank account healthy and his image intact. The first post-Olympics ad campaign Phelps has thrown himself into is for Louis Vuitton, which made its debut Monday morning. Shot by Annie Leibovitz, it features a scowling Phelps in the tub with his Louis Vuitton close by. Because everybody takes their most expensive possession into the bathroom with them. The most-decorated Olympian of all time is also coming to the Golf Channel’s reality-TV series The Haney Project, which features host Hank Haney trying to help amateur golfers get better. Good luck with that, Michael. And don’t forget your bag.
USA Basketball and LeBron Gain More Branding Power
LeBron James is having quite a summer. He’s now got an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal to feast his eyes on every time he overhears somebody on a radio call-in show saying nasty things about him. USA Basketball and LeBron already had pretty strong brands before the Games got underway but the collective image has been boosted after Sunday’s gold-medal win over Spain. The Spaniards made it an interesting game, at least, and came closer than any other team to beating this band of NBA brothers. What also helped these guys shine up their image was their treatment of other Olympians. They didn’t lord anything over anybody even though they pretty much snuffed out their opponents at will. And that was totally appreciated.
Olympics Not Returning to America Anytime Soon?
It sure looked like Britain was having a lot of fun during the Closing Ceremony Sunday night as The Who, Spice Girls, and Pet Shop Boys, among a slew of other performers, showed up to rock out and show the world what’s so great about Great Britain. Americans may be wondering when they’ll get to feel the Olympics love again. Bloomberg reports that it may be a long time because “many International Olympic Committee members don’t like the U.S. law … that gives domestic-licensing ownership of the word ‘Olympics’ and famed five interlocking Olympic rings to the federally chartered USOC.” That large pile of cash involved is what may keep the U.S. from hosting the Games anytime soon. Plus, many IOC members don’t love the fact that the U.S. consistently dominate the medals table, Bloomberg notes, and some “seem to have decided that a new revenue-sharing deal was needed before the U.S. would again win the rights to host the games.”
Rolls-Royce Makes Logo Change for Olympics
Three Rolls-Royces made appearances in the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games and all of them had another distinction from the rest of the brand. They each featured a logo change that was specially made for the event. That marks the very first it has changed the “double R” logo since the company got started way back in 1904, according to USA Today.
And the Final Tally...
Eighteen countries, including Botswana, Hong Kong, and Tajikistan, came away from these Games with their athletes only winning one medal. The U.S. bested that in bronze alone, winning 29 of those rings. America led all medal winners with 104 overall, including 46 gold and 29 silver. China came in second with 88 medals and Russia third with 82. Host country Great Britain had a good showing, coming in fourth with 65 medals for Team GB — its best showing in eons — while Brand GB has enjoyed an immeasurable boost from the two-week spotlight on the nation. May the halo continue.