Maxim Kleiman, Repucom Expert Russia, on Sochi Insights:
With the international spotlight firmly on Sochi 2014, interest on the competing athletes and the activating global sponsors always seem to grab the limelight. National sponsors are perhaps not as omnipresent as their international counterparts yet in the case of this Games, they do play a significant role.
National sponsorship of Sochi’s organizing committee is in excess of $1.3bn. This is the highest figure generated by Winter Olympic Games to date, a fact the Sochi organizers are very proud of. Dmitry Manevich, Sochi 2014’s marketing chief has said that this figure is around 1.5 times higher than Vancouver 2010 generated.
The Sochi Games has 8 official local sponsors of the organizing committee however few, if any will see a direct return on their investment.
Sochi Insights – Why is the ROI for local sponsors not that important
Some of these companies have invested heavily into the region ahead of Sochi. Here, realizing a direct return on their investment is not the major objective as it would be perhaps for international sponsors. In Russia, the value of being seen working alongside the government has much greater value. These companies are seen to be investing in Russia’s future.
Indeed, as the Russkiy Mir Foundation Information Service quoted Vladimir Putin as saying: “Top-level sports achievements and our athletes’ success at prestigious international competitions are certainly important and necessary, but the main thing is to make sport and an active lifestyle the norm for Russian society, make them today’s trend, as one might say now”.
The reputation and trust of these partners is strengthened greatly by working alongside the Russian government as people see them as contributing to society. New transportation and communication networks now exist where once they didn’t and the Games mean national sponsors are supporting healthy lifestyles and promoting social mobility. In Russia, much more important assets than the short term recuperation of the initial investment.