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The Role Of Bejing Brand

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Explain the role of the Beijing brand in the context of product strategy, and identify its importance in attracting the targeted sponsorship required.

Introduction

On July 13th 2001, China's capital, Beijing, won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games. The Games will be held between August 8th and 24th 2008.

China is not seen in the most positive light by most of the world's population who generally regard the nation as being backward, overpopulated and, under socialist rule.

In recent times many investors have recognized the opportunities China has to offer in terms of relatively cheap labour and production costs. However, China still has far to go in order to develop a positive global image.

The 2008 Olympic Games will enable China to do just that. In 2004 3.9 billion people across the world watched the Olympic Games in Athens. This number is expected to increase in 2008. This level of exposure will give China the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the rest of the world and showcase the culture and economy of China.

More than US $1.2 billion is expected to be raised from the international and domestic sponsorship of the 2008 Games. This money will be used to ensure that the Games take place without any difficulties and to cover all financial costs incurred in holding such an event. The games will also encourage international investment in China as well as highlight the skill of the Chinese people and their technology, products and services, while furthering China's quest for excellence in all realms of business.

The Beijing Brand

The Beijing Organizing Committee has several selling points to attract sponsors to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

China has a population of 1.31 billion people (roughly 20% of the earth's population) and a poll conducted by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee showed that 94.6% of the Chinese people supported the bid. This tremendous optimism will translate into exceptionally high levels of recognition and support across the country for those companies that choose to get involved in the Olympic Games. This level of support for the bid also demonstrates the openness of the Chinese community to the arrival international visitors and investors to the country.

China's annual economic growth rate is presently at 9.9% and in 2005 had a GDP of $2.22 trillion. These numbers prove that China is one of the most promising market places in the world and therefore a worthwhile economy for international companies to invest in.

The Beijing Organizing Committee (BOCOG) has developed three ways of showcasing the Beijing Brand to encourage sponsorship of the 2008 Games.

* Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Sponsorship Programme

* Olympic Games Licensing Program

* Olympic Stamp and Coin Programme

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Sponsorship Programme

The BOCOG has designed the most comprehensive sponsorship package ever created in association with the Olympic Games. It provides an all-encompassing, five year calendar of events and opportunities for interested sponsors. It is also designed to merge, enhance and protect the rights, benefits and privileges of the sponsoring corporations, and secure marketing rights to the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Chinese Olympic Teams.

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Sponsorship Programme abides by all of the Olympic Charter, Ideals and the three concepts of the ÐŽ®Green Olympic Games, High-tech Olympic Games and the People's Olympic Games'; assist in the promotion of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic image and brand awareness of the Beijing Games and COC in and outside China. The Programme also seeks to ensure the financial sufficiency and stability, and reliability of the technical and service support for the staging and operation of the Games.

The Sponsorship Programme also provides a unique marketing platform for both Chinese and foreign enterprises and encourages the broad participation of Chinese businesses. This participation will enhance their corporate images and build brand equity and awareness through association with the Olympic Games.

This Programme provides quality services to sponsors and maximises the return on their investments while helping them forge long-term partnerships with the Olympic Movement in China.

Sponsorship of the 2008 Olympic Games will be developed on international and national levels: the TOP VI Programme supports the Olympic Movement internationally while the Beijing 2008 Sponsorship Programme supports the Games on a national level within China.

Within the five year period of the Beijing Games campaign there will be many opportunities afforded to proposed and prospective sponsors. Any sponsors who sign on to the agreement will be given exclusivity and mass exposure over the five year time span. Also these sponsors create good public relations with their customers by not only showing their support of the Beijing Games but for Sport, humanity and everything that the Olympics represents. There will of course be many securities involved for the sponsors' protection, to ensure a positive return on their investment into the sponsorship of the games.

Licensing Programme

The BOCOG has also developed a stringent Programme with regards to licensing of merchandise for retail sale. Again obtaining a license for the manufacture and distribution of Olympic Trademarked merchandise lends a great deal of exclusivity to the licensees, as well as considerable profits, and repositioning their brand image in the minds of their targeted consumers

Royalties received from the sale of Olympic licensed merchandise will be directly contributed to the Beijing Games.

Coins and Stamps

Another programme developed to aid in building a foundation for the Beijing Brand was the production of commemorative coins and stamps which will be circulated throughout China. The stamps will cover all areas of the games including opening and closing ceremonies and the torch relay. The stamps will be issued in two categories: regular issues and personalized stamps and philatelic products.

The coin programme comprises of collector issues and circulation issues. The collector issues are made up of mainly silver and gold.

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