As London 2012 winds down, a look at some of the “little” wins…unusual brand exposure that helped skirt the Olympic rules with some innovation, timing and a little foresight.
BMW HAS A SMART DRIVE: Maybe you have seen it during the field competitions, maybe not. It certainly hasn’t made it into a lot of the audio, but London 2012 vehicle partner BMW found a fun way to get mentioned, and noticed. The brand provided a fleet of miniature versions of its MINI cars that transported track and field equipment around the Olympic Stadium. The remote-controlled cars do not carry any MINI branding, so they didn’t break any IOC protocol, but they did create some buzz and a natural connection as the cars scurried about picking up javelins and a shot out or ten.
It was a great test for future mini tests, maybe picking up a kicking tee at a football game or dropping a puck at center ice. Plus auctioning off the remotes afterwards could have a great philanthropic upside. Nice engagement, BMW.
SCORING POINTS: Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy dropped the women’s beach volleyball final to Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings, but they scored some huge points for startup apparel brand 4POINT4. The pair wore the new brand, which has a unique philanthropic twist, throughout the tourney, and by their success helped donate sports equipment to developing nations throughout the world based on their performance in the games.
Additionally, as part of the brand’s philanthropic efforts tied to Ross and Kessy, 4POINT4 supported beach volleyball tournaments in Cité Soleil, Haiti – a United Nations-designated red zone area –while the Olympic Games went on. The “sister city” campaign had simultaneous volleyball matches in an underserved area of Haiti during the Olympics as part of the brand’s mission to give access to sports and equipment to less fortunate kids.
It probably didn’t bring in the endorsement dollars of a Nike or Under Armour for the pair, but the partnership served as a nice launch platform and over time could be a real winner for both the sport and brand philanthropy.
HOW ABOUT THOSE EARRINGS: As Sanya Richards-Ross earned gold on the track Monday night, so did her large Chanel earrings. The custom designed, non-logoed pair got some quality time during the race and in her post-race NBC times, making their way to air without a Chanel Olympic tie. Did anyone take notice? The IOC must have, as the earrings did not appear during the Olympic star’s races later in the week.
While the official brands did come through with big time activation programs for the games, it is always interesting to note the little ones who found their way through the clutter and could set themselves up for even bigger and better plans down the line away from the games with other properties. Nice job by all three, where a little luck tied in with hard work to bring some great results.