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Sochi 2014 Brand Marketing Games: Subway Leads P&G for Gold, Red Bull vs. GE for Silver, McDonald’s Falters

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Sochi Rings

Where’s Nike?

Subway Leads P&G for Gold, Red Bull vs. GE for Silver, McDonald’s Falters

Terra Cotta Medals Introduced

Sochi Olympics Week Two, February, 2014 Austin, Texas — After the first full week of the Sochi Winter Games, the marketing medal count finalized with the competition between and among the official sponsors and the Non-affiliated Marketers (NAM) is tight, according to the Global Language Monitor.  Some highlights include Subway leading P&G for the Gold, Red Bull contending with GE for Silver, and McDonald’s apparently faltering thus far.  The complete details are shown in the charts below.

Also, since no one can be eliminated from the Games once they begin, GLM has introduced the Terra Cotta medal in addition to the traditional Gold, Silver, and Bronze.  In the Ancient world, Terra Cotta was considered the least valuable material for permanence (after gold, silver, and bronze).

The Terra Cotta Medal is depicted below.

Sochi Silver Medal
Sochi Gold Medal
Sochi Bronze Medal
Terra Cotta Medal
Terra Cotta Medal







“While the eyes of the world are focused on the athletes and the intense struggle on the ice and snow in Sochi, the eyes of the marketing world are keenly aware of the battle being waged for the billions of dollars in brand equity for being associated with the Winter Games.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst, the Global Language Monitor.

Some highlights from the longitudinal study:

  • P&G has had an extraordinary Olympics thus far and will be in serious contention for the overall Gold.
  • Coke has a towering lead over McDonald’s, more a testament to Coke improving and Mickey D’s essentially treading water.
  • Rolex has improved , in terms of BAI from 6.1 in London to 144.23 today.
  • Red Bull leads the pack in the for Silver contenders.  After all, if you jump from a Space Capsule to Earth, you’re must be affiliated with Red Bull.
  • GE and Siemens are neck-and-neck; Siemens moved down two spots, while GE was up four.
  • Unilever sits comfortably at No. 9,  up one from last week.
  • Great commercials are bringing home the fact GE is (a lot) more than light bulbs.
  • Dow (No. 13) is up 2 this week, while DuPont (No.14) is down 2.
  • IBM Global Services and Atos Origin come in at No. 19 and 21, however they are both B-to-B plays and as long as they connect to the right people.
  • Omega deserves a higher profile; though they are on the screen for key moments of every competition, they are down in Terra Cotta territory.
  • Finally, Where is Nike?  They are ready to pounce, but no pouncing evidenced thus far.

Sochi Olympics Marketing Race: Subway Leads Ambush Marketers, Samsung and P&G Lead Top Sponsors


See Final Medal Standings
Final Marketing Medal Standings

Subway takes the early combined-event lead; Rolex, Red Bull, and Nike among fastest Risers


Sochi Olympics Week One, February, 2014 Austin, Texas — The first stage of the Sochi Olympics Marketing race is in the books.  And thus far the Non-affiliated Marketers are making their impact felt.  

In the early the first stage of the two-week long event,  the Non-affiliated Marketers (or Ambush Marketers) are leading the TOP Sponsors by GLM’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) by a significant margin in a number of measures.

Sochi-Marketing-Leaders-Week 1

“Though not as prestigious as the games on the field, in the snow, and on the ice, the Ambush Marketing Race can mean billions in profits for the winners, and uncontrollable value leaks to the losers,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

The ten TOP Sochi Sponsors are Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, P&G, Panasonic, Samsung, and Visa Card.  

The eleven Non-affiliated (or Ambush Marketers) are Adidas, DuPont, IBM Global Services, Nike, Pepsi, Philips, Red Bull, Rolex, Siemens, Starbucks, Subway, and Unilever.  

Some of these organizations compete head-to-head with the Top Sponsors, such as IBM Global Services (vs. Atos Origin), Pepsi and Red Bull (vs. Coca-Cola), DuPont (vs. Dow Chemical), Royal Philips (vs. General Electric), while others simply co-opt the Olympic brand equity to their own particular advantage.

The Global Language Monitor uses proprietary algorithmic services to perform brand audits, enabling organizations to judge their brand performance between and among their competitors and their peers.  

The higher the BAI (Brand Affiliation Index) the closer the brand affiliation with the primary brand, in this case the Sochi Winter Olympics. Of course, not all Ambush Marketers plan to steal the Olympic glow from their competitors, a cost estimated to be up to $1 billion, fully loaded, over a four-year Olympiad.

Therefore, GLM uses the term Non-affiliated Marketers (NAM) for those, like Starbucks, who seem to engender a false impression of Olympic sponsorship, our research shows, because of their immense size, health-oriented menu, and image of busy, successful people dashing in and out. Nike, for example, is proud of its Ambush Marketing ‘stunts’ such as the ‘Yellow-Green Neon Shoe’ escapade in London 2012.  and the record backs them up..  Twenty months after its stunt in London, it still is ranks higher than the BAI of three IOC Partners..

Subway, in turn, leads all Sochi Marketers with its unbridled, and some say outrageous athlete-focused commercials.   As you see in the along side chart, six of the top ten and eleven of the top 20 marketers fit into the NAM category.  (You can see that Red Bull is firmly ensconced in the top ten.

Over the last four Olympics, the Global Language Monitor has been using its Brand Affiliation Index and NarrativeTracker technology to measure the relationship of the official Sponsors and their competitors to the various Olympics brands. This is a longitudinal study that reaches back to the Beijing Summer Games in 2008.  The names of the sponsors change rarely, but the non-affiliated competitors remain a core group with others that come on to the Olympic platform for but a cycle or two. GLM has found that there are many misconceptions continue to persist despite the evidence.

One of these misconceptions is that ambush marketing ‘stunts’ are wildly successful, such as Nike’s green shoe stunt in London.  The Data say yes-and-no.  The stunt made quite an impression for a week or two, and the lingering value can be seen in the Sochi Leaders by BAI chart.  In the along side chart, you see that Nike has a current BAI of 26.30; immediately after the London stunt it measured 120.5.


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New York Takes Top Global Fashion Capital Title from London, edging past Paris

  The Global Language Monitor’s 10th Annual Survey

   The Difference between New York and Paris was 0.05%    And No. 4?  Los Angeles! Yes, LA. February Fashion Weeks, 2014 New York and Austin, Texas — New York was reclaimed the title of the Top Global Fashion Capital from London, which had held the tile for 2011 and 2012.  Paris, which also won the title of the Top Global Fashion Capital for Haute Couture, finished in the No. 2 spot overall.  New York and Paris were separated by 0.05%, the closest in the 10-year history of the Global Language Monitor’s survey.   In another development, Los Angeles moved into the esteemed Big  Four status, moving up five spots from 2012.

Coming Later in 2014:  The Global Fashion Capital Institute

Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan

. The rest of the Top Ten included:  Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Sydney, Antwerp, and Shanghai.    Berlin solidified its position, while Antwerp completed it steady climb, Sydney had a triumphal return, and Shanghai returns to what many consider its rightful place in the Top Ten.   Asia was well represented with Tokyo (11), Singapore (19), and Hong Kong (20) in the Top Twenty.  “New York City has, indeed, earned its Top Global Fashion Capital ranking through its disciplined, methodical yet creative approach to its fashion industry.” said Bekka Payack, New York-based Fashion Director  for The Global Language Monitor.

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                                                                                                            Read Vanessa Friedman for a UK point of view.

“Paris, with the Top Haute Couture ranking, of course has a centuries-long heritage, having invented the very concept, also scored highly in the pret-a-porter category.  This year’s rankings also demonstrate the creative energy that is emerging worldwide in terms of fashion as a jobs, income and wealth generator, not to mention the prestige associated with exporting your fashion sense to the world.”


Read About the Top US Fashion Economic Powerhouses in AtlanticCities


Paris Fashion Globe
London Fashion Traffic by Big Ben

. The Top Global Fashion Capital Rankings are listed below, in the format:  Position, City, Change from 2012, and comment.

  1. New York (+1) — The Big Apple is back on top of the fashion world by slipping past Paris by .5%.
  2. Paris (+2) — The Top Global Fashion Capital for Haute Couture is surprisingly strong in pret-a-porter, also.
  3. London (-2) — London has enjoyed a fabulous two-year run and is now secure in its place in the top echelon for global fashion.
  4. Los Angeles (+5) — Zut alors! Tinsel Town in the Top Four? The result of the melding of the Red Carpet, the Industry (film, of course), and West Coast cool.
  5. Barcelona (-2)  —  Espana, again, places two Fashion Capitals in the Top Fifteen.  Barcelona also wins the Top Fashion Capital for Swimwear. 
  6. Rome (0) — Rome may have Seven Hills but Italy now has Three Fashion Capitals (and Milan is No. 2).
  7. Berlin (+3)  — Berlin continues its steady rise moving deeper into the the elite ranks.
  8. Sydney (+7)  —  Sydney towers over OZ distancing (and distinguishing) itself, once again, from Melbourne.
  9. Antwerp (+2)  — Ah Antwerp, reverberations of the avant garde Antwerp Six continues into the 21st century.
  10. Shanghai (+12) —  As China further emerges onto the world stage, Shanghai leads the fashion charge.
  11. Tokyo (+9) — Tokyo made a leap in 2013 that many consider long overdue.
  12. Milano (-4)  —  Milan was the Top Global Fashion Capital back in 2009 and remains a strong contender for the top spot year-after-year.
  13. Florence (+3)  — Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli — A proud heritage to a thriving fashion industry in 2013.
  14. Madrid (-9) —  Still strong in 2013,  further cementing its place among the elite Fashion Capitals.
  15. Sao Paulo (-8)  — Again, the Queen of Latin American Fashion Capitals.
  16. St. Petersburg (+35)  —  Russian comes into 2014 with two Fashion Capitals in the Top Twenty, with Petrograd surprising  Moscow.   Read more