27 July 2010 | Tanya Goodin

Two years to go and the 2012 London Olympics marketing marathon starts now

Marathon-RunnerToday, there are just 730 days left before the London Olympics starts – but for companies, the online marketing marathon has already begun. The legal controls on the Olympics are fierce but at the same time, they allow honest content to be produced around the competition in a productive way.

And if you do work within the guidelines, the benefits are great. If you talk honestly about and add value to the Games, there is no harm, rather a benefit to the community, the organisers and you.

If you have any relevance to sport, to the Olympics, to excellence, now is the time to start building your online campaign. Plan your tactics around your overall online strategy with care and attention to the rules. Where do the Olympics mesh with your ideas? What can you offer? Is it of any value generally?

Honest content that does not claim official association will always benefit as online interest in the Games mushrooms over the next two years, which should result in high search rankings and visibility.

The London Organising Committee for the Olympics Games (LOCOG) is rightly protective of the brand and the rights of sponsors, who have paid millions to be associated with the Games. The keys to honest representation are to ensure that any online content that references the London Olympics is not an attempt at “passing off”, making a commercial association that does not exist or using the Olympics logos to infer that there is a commercial connection.

Tamar’s latest Sports Index published today focuses on the Games, with one aspect in particular – the Paralympics. We researched how official sponsors effectively harnessed brief spikes in interest online – in this case, Sainsbury’s announcement that it would be the first full sponsor of the London Paralympics. The white paper has a host of lessons for online marketers and you can read it here.

Actually, there is now an opportunity to get involved directly with the 2012 Games preparations. TV Dragon Duncan Bannatyne is leading an initiative launched today -“Our Team 2012” – to raise £15 million to provide Team GB athletes with training and equipment in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

There is more information on the official website but SMEs can donate £9,900 and will have the chance to meet athletes, invitations to prestigious venues, be invited to networking and black tie events, and can use a special “Team 2012” logo on their website and in their e-mail signatures.

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar