Sponsorship seems to be very much a part of the modern Olympics and apparently the history of this dates back to the 1908 London games when the Oxo – the kitchen cupboard staple – provided athletes with hot and cold beef stock drinks, plus rice pudding. Things have come a long way since, with today’s top sponsors reportedly paying around US$100m each to be associated with the festival of sport. So, over the next two weeks, we’re going to take a look at some of the brands who have invested the money and are set to make a splash at the Tokyo games.
- Founded 2007
- Listings in 100,000 cities
- Hosted 1 billion guests
Airbnb may be the world’s largest accommodation provider – yet it owns no hotels! As part of a nine-year deal struck with the IOC in 2019, they’re acting as a “Worldwide Olympic Partner” which seems apt, given the company claims to have active listings in 100,000 cities across the globe. Only founded 14 years ago after two hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home, the company is now fast approaching its one billionth guest and is worth almost US$100 billion.
There may be no spectators at the games this year, and given people travel significant distances to follow their favourite athletes, accommodation providers usually do well out of events like this. However with the global travel market seemingly on the cusp of reopening, talk of “revenge travel” is high on the agenda. Pent-up wanderlust and – at least for some – surplus cash as a result of not spending during lockdown could make for a powerful combination in the years ahead. On this basis, Airbnb’s decision to set to find itself in squarely in the global media spotlight certainly makes sense. Even if traditional TV broadcast is being eclipsed by streaming services, the brand positioning given to Olympic sponsors means they will be front and centre throughout.