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Is it worth it?

(Global Times)

09:41, August 03, 2012

No sporting event is more eye-catching than the Olympic Games. It offers a big stage for thousands of athletes to compete, attracts a large audience who are fans of various events, and offers a good opportunity for enterprises to promote themselves.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, computer producer Lenovo became one of The Olympic Partners (TOP) of the Games, the highest-level sponsors, and a series of big Chinese firms such as China Mobile, PetroChina and Sinopec were also sponsors.

However, four years later, at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Chinese firms have a much smaller presence.

Besides Taiwan computer firm Acer, which has replaced Lenovo on the TOP list, there is only one other Chinese firm among the Games' sponsors.

Olympic leap forward

Beijing-based computer graphics company Crystal CG is the official digital imaging services supplier and one of the 28 third-tier sponsors of the 2012 London Olympic Games. It also sponsored the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"Crystal's brand reputation was greatly enhanced and it realized geometric growth through the Beijing Olympic Games," Lu Zhenggang, chairman of the company, told the Global Times.

Crystal's number of employees increased from 50 in 2000 when it helped in Beijing's bid for the Olympic Games to 3,000 now, partly driven by the Olympic factor, Lu said.

By sponsoring the London Games, the company aims to strengthen its advantages in project experience and branding, as well as to help the international development of the company, Lu said.

Zheng Xueqin, deputy director and chief researcher of China Brand Research Institute, told the Global Times that Olympic sponsorship has helped Crystal in establishing its position in the digital imaging sector.

Like Crystal, Acer wants to enhance its brand reputation by sponsoring the Olympic Games, according to HL Lin, Acer's president for greater China.

Providing more than 25,000 computers and other IT equipment for the London Games is a test for the company's organizational functioning, Lin said.

This is also an opportunity to establish relationships with important clients who go to London for the Olympic Games, Lin noted.

However, he admitted that it is costly to sponsor the Games, as it requires both significant expenditure and a large amount of investment in terms of IT equipment.

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