tirsdag 11. januar 2022

IOC major sponsors mostly muted in runup to Beijing Olympics

The Beijing Winter Olympics are fraught with potential hazards for major sponsors, who are trying to remain quiet about China’s human rights record while protecting at least $1 billion they’ve collectively paid to the IOC. That could reach $2 billion when new figures are expected this year. Sponsors include big household names like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Visa, Toyota, Airbnb, and Panasonic.

The International Olympic Committee’s so-called TOP sponsors are being squeezed by a diplomatic boycott led by the United States, the economic power of 1.4 billion Chinese — and the fear of retaliation by China’s authoritarian government. China, itself, was part of a full-fledged boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. “They (sponsors) are trying to walk a fine line between trying to get the best exposure, but also not trying to be perceived as too close to the actions of the Chinese government,” Mark Conrad, who teaches sports law and ethics at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, said in an email.