5 Lessons from The Olympic Games Brand


Less than a week away from the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Games, we came to question the sustainability of the brands. Why some brands die very early while others may last for several decades or even more? Although, the contemporary concept of the Olympic Games goes back more than 120 years, they are reputed to know how to reinvent their brand image year after year. But what is their secret recipe?

Don’t forget, the Olympic Games have survived two world wars, two great depressions and many changes in mass media, including the invention of television and the rise of social media. Brands that were believed to be unwavering, unfortunately fell during the latest wave of technological change.

Here are the 5 lessons that we have learned from the Olympic Games and that make this brand still relevant today!


Although the Games generate billions in revenue, they are still, at heart, an event where the most accomplished athletes in the world gather peacefully. Anyone who has been to an Olympic stadium during an opening or closing ceremony will tell you that Parade of Nations is one of the most thrilling moment of the Games! The athletes themselves are largely unknown until they compete in the Olympic Games.


No other event gathers so many athletes from all around the world in different disciplines! Of course, there is the World Cup of soccer which is also international, but it concerns only one sport.



Beyond the medal count and the national pride, the athlete’s personal stories are what truly get to us. What they endured, how they win and how they lose. Plus, the stories from each host country makes the Games even more unique! Spectators dive into the host nation’s history for a trip through the country’s landscape and culture. And what about the history of the Games ...


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) published an Olympic Charter for the protection of its brand internationally. While this may seem trivial, there is enormous power in fiercely defending and owning a brand. Indeed, the International Olympic Committee was able to monetize the brands unlike any other, including the use of "Olympic". Two years ago, a brand of fine meats named Olympic Provisions out of Portland was forced to change its name as it used the word "Olympic" which is strictly reserved for the mark of the Olympic Games.


If «the event» is at the heart of the Games, the reality is that one does not need to attend the actual Games for the brand experience. The event can be experienced in a very authentic way wherever you are. The challenge for any digital brand today is to find ways to create an experience for their customers.

The strength of the Olympic Games lies in its power and timelessness. Even after 120 years, the Olympic Games remain one of the only and true global gatherings of the world! However, nothing is taken for granted. Although the brand has evolved significantly, it must still continue to adapt with the digitized world in a way that provides fans with the space to participate in their love of the brand!

As Baron Pierre de Coubertin said: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

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SportsMélisande Bodiguel