Chair of the Communications Studies department Greg Payne spoke with WalletHub in advance of the Olympic games, which begin February 4 in Beijing, China. He discussed the significance of sponsorships, retail, and branding on this prolific global stage.
The Olympics still is the most valued brand in the world and even though the Olympics is supposed to be above politics – it is a major part of the narrative. China used the Summer Olympics to further its brand as a global power – complete with state-of-the-art facilities which were fundamental to its nation branding efforts. The winter games – also in Beijing – provide another opportunity for the world to come together once again in China. The result is a massive dose of soft power that helps refute and counter some of the issues associated with the Communist government given the human rights issues, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The game themselves are almost a backdrop for the mediated reality spectacle, all very programmed and controlled by the government and their agreements with sponsors and media covering the games.