02/11/2014 12:04 pm ET Updated Apr 13, 2014

Here's How Brands Are Leveraging The Olympics

Peter Ueberroth, who ended up with a nearly $250 million surplus from the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles, was named TIME's Man of the Year in 1984 and brands have been leveraging that gold ever since.

In the past 30 years, brands have gotten better at leveraging their brand equity at big, global sporting events. It could be argued that the Olympics brand is the "top rung" -- even with controversy around security and venues.

The 2014 Sochi Olympic games are no different. This year, we see a masterful example of brand excellence with P&G's "Thank You, Mom" campaign. Branding everyday products is not as easy as it looks. P&G has managed to tap into the universal symbol of mom to both leverage their brand strengths and celebrate a universal rallying point.

Visa is another iconic brand that makes a significant investment in leveraging their brand via the Olympics. In an article for Yale Insights, CMO Antonio Lucio said, "We start with our 'Audience First' approach, which means understanding the consumer-decision journey within the context of the Olympics experience, and then approaching consumers where they are most likely to be interacting with the Olympics experience, and, through a relevant angle, with the Visa brand."

Celebrating what unites us seems to be the winning ticket for the gold medal.


Beverly Macy is the Host of Social Media Radio and the co-author of "The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing." She teaches Executive Global Marketing, Brand Management, and Social Media Marketing at UCLA Extension. Email her at