Global companies invited to Olympics

ANN@The China Post

Strong partnerships expected as marketing effort launched

A major component leading up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics shot out of the gate and started heading down a promising course as the event’s marketing effort was launched on Monday.

After six months of research with the International Olympic Committee, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics began its official marketing program for the winter sports extravaganza.

It comes as China is set to boost its burgeoning winter sports industry, while making sure wise investments are made that will lead to sound development.

Guo Jinlong, the capital’s Party chief and chairman of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, said he is confident a high-profile marketing platform coupled with the huge potential in China’s winter sports market will appeal to sponsors around the globe.

“Successful marketing guarantees the hosting of a fantastic Olympics,” Guo said. “With a market size of 1.3 billion people and the national strategy of developing winter sports before 2022, we look forward to working with business communities worldwide, especially local brands, to host the event in a shared manner.”

The program includes three components — sponsorship, licensing and ticketing — and is aimed at raising funds, products, techniques and services to support the delivery of the Games while granting partners the use of Beijing 2022 trademarks and intellectual properties to market their businesses.

The organizing committee has designed systems that classify sponsors into four tiers — official partner, sponsor, exclusive supplier and supplier — based on different prices and rights.

The selection of official partners, who will benefit from the longest marketing period, seven and a half years through the end of 2024, begins in March. The selection for sponsors will start in July 2018, followed by exclusive and regular suppliers in 2019.

Beijing 2022 sponsorship partners will be assessed on corporate qualifications, bidding price, brand influence, products and service capability, and maketing and promotional ability, said Piao Xuedong, director of the organizing committee’s finance and marketing department.

Since Beijing won the rights to host the 2022 Games with co-host Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, in 2015, the investment in winter sports facilities and services has seen a surge, highlighted by a national plan to have 650 skating rinks and 800 ski resorts in five years, up 200 and 500 from the current numbers.

China is rolling out an ambitious program to involve 300 million people in winter sports and related activities leading up to 2022.

The launch of the marketing program will stimulate another investment boom, but prudent and rational planning is necessary, analysts said.

“The levels of resort management, staff training and skier services in our country are still immature compared to international levels,” said Yi Jiandong, an Olympic researcher and dean of Peking University’s Sports Business School. “Those who are interested in joining the party should carefully consider what to offer and what could be received in return, rather than just jumping on the bandwagon blindly.”

Lin Xianpeng, a sports industry professor at Beijing Sport University, stressed that the Beijing 2022 organizers should look for more techniques and management skills from overseas through marketing partner selection.