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London Olympics: What the Games Mean for Business - UK - July 2011

“The difficulties the London 2012 Olympic Games have encountered in achieving pre-event targets for increasing sports participation rates, the change in the economic climate that has taken place since the city was awarded its hosting rights in 2005 and the threat of legal action against ambush marketers have all combined to raise uncertainty over the ways in which British business can take immediate advantage of the UK’s staging of the Games.

However, many of these potential problems bring with them opportunities for brands to gain credit by connecting consumers with an event they want to embrace but are in danger of feeling disconnected from through a range of barriers to access including physical distance and difficulties in obtaining tickets.

Using Olympic sports and athletes as promotional vehicles rather than the Olympics themselves will be one clear route to consumers in a mature sports economy, who can make the implied connections without too much prompting. ‘Backing Britain’ will be another theme of potential value during 2012, as will identification with Olympic ideals and the positioning of the Games as a once-in-a-lifetime experience and an opportunity to try new things.”

– Matt King, Head of Leisure, Tourism, Technology and Media Research

In this report we answer the key questions:

How can the Games engage consumers beyond London and the South East?

How will the presence of the Games within the UK affect the way we follow them?

What impact will the Games have on consumers’ purchasing and leisure habits?

How can brands without Olympic sponsorship rights legitimately associate with the Games?

How will consumers and businesses cope with the disruption to transport and trade the Games are expected to cause?


This report examines consumer behaviour around the 2012 Olympic Games, to be staged in London between 27 July and 12 August 2012. Some analysis of the 2012 Paralympic Games – also to be staged in London, from 29 August-9 September – is included additionally, primarily as a means of adding context and comparison to assessment of the main Olympic event.

Reference is also made to other sporting ‘mega-events’ – particularly the 2010 FIFA World Cup – for the purposes of comparison.

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London Olympics: What the Games Mean for Business - UK - July 2011

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