An Olympic sized brand requires an Olympic sized brand management plan. To become an Olympic partner and win the right to bear the logo you will need significant amounts of cash.
There are tiers of partnership though, and they want everyone to be able to share in the journey. So, if you want, you can just buy mittens. To get a sense of the value of the Olympic brand you need only consider how much effort goes towards protecting it. The laws that have been changed to prevent people from using the images and symbols are an interesting example. But what I think is totally fascinating is that when the torch comes to town, it gets it’s own security detail.
Big-time-security. Everywhere the flame goes, a security detail including numerous plain clothes officers go. Heck the flame got here on a military airplane.
It’s of interest to me because the flame is a symbol. That’s it.
I mean, really, if someone took it, you could just light another one and keep running. Do people think there is something magic about combustion? The fuel runs out – you have to keep filling it up. It’s not like we live in an age where it’s hard to light.
But the effort that gets put into protecting the flame, is really part of a larger brand management strategy designed to protect and create the symbolic meanings surrounding the Olympics.1
- It’s interestingly similar to rites and symbolic meanings surrounding Christianity. Except of course that this Greek flame hearkens back to a polytheist era of Gods and Goddesses. ↩