The big four multiples are all being tipped to enter a race to win sponsorship of the London Olympics in 2012 following the successful bid in Singapore.
But there will only be one winner, said Nick Cloke, director of strategic marketing consultancy Catalyst, as there is only one spot per category.
“We will definitely see one of the big four grocery multiples sponsoring the Olympics - I would be amazed if they weren’t all considering running,” he said.
“It will be down to the size of wallet, which means it’s likely to be either Tesco or Asda. But the sponsorship would also fit Sainsbury perfectly with its Active Kids campaign. It would
be interested in pinning its name to the healthy, active lifestyle the Olympics represent.”
Fmcg companies will also be fighting to sponsor the games in 2012 and Cloke predicted that Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Walkers would all be desperate to be associated with the event.
“The organisers can be confident that there will be no shortfall of really big names. The deals will probably be made in 2009 so everyone will have time to prepare and we’ll see a very interesting bidding process.”
Masterfoods has wasted no time in capitalising on the successful London bid. The day after the International Olympics Committee announced its decision, ads appeared in the national press for Mars “running 5 rings around the competition”.
However, the games are not good news for everyone - one of the UK’s longest established smoked salmon and caviar suppliers will be evicted from its east London factory to make way for the new stadia.
Managing director Lance Forman claimed that the London 2012 campaign had been “obstructive and misleading” and that he had been left in limbo. “We have just spent two years and £3.5m building a state-of-the-art factory - we have been told that we need to be out of here in two years. If we can’t find a site within the next few months, the Olympics could wipe us out.”
He had found an alternative site 18 months ago but no funding was made available at the time. “We should be able to celebrate the Olympics like everyone else but instead it has turned into a complete and utter nightmare.”
No one from London 2012 was available for comment.
Fiona McLelland