Olympics present a golden opportunity for Team GB heroes
It is safe to say the 2012 Olympic Games in London have been a resounding success. Who couldn’t fail to be excited by everybody’s favourite new sport, Beach Volleyball, with its magnificent setting in the Horse Guards Parade? Or Michael Phelps breaking more records before finally retiring as the greatest Olympian of all time? Then there were the likes of Lochte, Le Clos, Ye Shiwen, Sizwe Ndlovu, Ledecky and Katie Taylor- to name but a few – who all announced themselves on the biggest stage. All this before Team GB began to hoover up every medal in sight. And then there was Usain Bolt…
Of course there have been some gripes. The rows of empty seats in the opening days certainly raised question marks over just how fair the allocation of tickets has been. It also wouldn’t be an Olympic Games without accusations and counter-accusations of doping and to this effect, China and the US willingly obliged. And unfortunately the Badminton players of South Korea, China and Indonesia provided the Olympics’ most shameful moment with their pathetic attempts at throwing their respective group matches in what has predictably been termed ‘Badmintongate’.
Those grievances notwithstanding, the London Games have been a triumph. So, what next for the heroes of Team GB? It is inevitable that after running, rowing, jumping, cycling and throwing their names into sporting history over the last two weeks that the top brands are lining up to offer new and improved sponsorship deals to the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy, Jess Ennis and Mo Farah but also to the ‘new’ faces of British sport such as Greg Rutherford, Nicola Adams, the Brownlee brothers and Lizzie Armitstead.
Heptathlete Ennis, already heavily backed by the likes of Adidas, stands to at least double her earnings over the next two years. Similarly, Farah, already affiliated with Nike, can expect his earnings to go through the roof after his double gold medal haul. He has the added advantage of having trained in Oregon, thereby opening him up to the US market. Rutherford also stands to see a huge increase in his earning potential. Considering he is already backed by the likes of Nike and Maximuscle, his thrilling long jump victory has created a huge opening for the ‘Ginger Wizard’ to capitalise on and hit the big leagues in terms of sponsorship earning. Indeed, Britain’s other medal winners will equally be hoping to maximise the earning potential fashioned by their successes.
Does all this point to a change in sponsors’ approach to sports that fall outside the more established ones such football, rugby, golf, Formula 1 and Tennis? Inevitably, comparisons have been drawn between the less celebrated Olympians who have captured the world’s attention over the last two weeks and the better paid, less accessible global sports stars, with the former held up as shining examples of what sporting role models should be. And yet, when the glow of the Olympics fades away and the next big sporting event arrives – be it the start of the Premier League, the 2012 Ryder Cup, the Autumn Rugby Internationals, the resumption of the Formula 1 season – where will the heroes of Track & Field, Rowing, Cycling and Swimming stand? The Olympics is the ultimate platform for these sports and while their respective profiles will have been raised considerably they still have a long way to go to compete with the more established sports on the calendar on a consistent basis. As such, one would hope that the successful Team GB Olympians have got their representatives working around the clock to identify and secure the best deals for their clients while their worth is at an all time high. Strike while the proverbial iron is steaming hot.
We leave you with this nice montage put together by the folks at BBC who did an amazing job covering the games.
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