Driven partly by its remote location—particularly for Western brands—as well as political and corporate scandals, sponsors have taken a relatively low profile in terms of activating the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

Below, partnership overviews of the IOC’s 13 Worldwide Olympic Partners, including four that have joined the Olympic Movement since the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: Alibaba, Bridgestone, Intel and Toyota.

Company: Alibaba

Designation: Official cloud services and e-commerce platform services partner

Partnership Overview

Alibaba in 2017 signed a 12-year, estimated $800 million deal with the IOC to become a Worldwide TOP Partner. Alibaba is using the partnership to showcase its technology on a global scale and encourage small and medium-sized businesses to use its technology to better compete with larger, more established businesses.

TV Ad Support

Alibaba is leveraging the PyeongChang Games with “To The Greatness of Small,” an advertising campaign that celebrates underdog athletes. One ad features ice hockey players in Kenya who hope to qualify for the Winter Olympics, while another retells the story of Australian rower Henry Pearce who paused his boat mid-race during the 1928 Olympics to let a mother duck and her ducklings swim to safety. Despite the pause, Pearce went on to win a gold medal at the event.

Alibaba is running three different commercials as part of the campaign. The ads run on TV in China and digitally in South Korea, the U.S., the U.K., and Japan.

On-Site Activation/Presence

Alibaba is using an activation space at Gangneung Olympic Park to demonstrate new technology concepts it is developing for future Olympic Games, including facial recognition, content creation and travel guidance.

Business-to-Business

More than 200 employees are studying the technology behind the PyeongChang Games, with the goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of future Games. Areas of focus including ticketing, media and video services, local data centers and information technology.

Company: Atos

Designation: Official information technology products, services and solutions

Partnership Overview

Atos, which has supplied technology for the Olympic Games since 1989, expanded the relationship in 2001 to become the Games’ official IT partner. The company leads technology efforts at the Games, and integrates the contributions of all other technology partners and suppliers into one cohesive operation.

Digital/Social Activation

Atos has a sub-section of its website dedicated to its involvement with the Winter Olympic Games. The website includes blog posts, articles, infographics and videos showcasing how Atos has positively impacted the Games.

The site also features a Social Media World Map that allows consumers to track engagement, social media mentions and sentiment on Olympic-related topics in different countries around the world.

Business-to-Business

The 2018 PyeongChang Games represent the first time the Games’ IT operations are remotely managed and hosted in the cloud. Operations include accreditation, entries and qualifications, volunteer management and result distribution.

Hosting applications entirely in the cloud will help reduce technology operational costs by 30 percent, according to Atos.

Company: Bridgestone

Designation: Exclusive tires, restrictive automotive vehicle services, non-motorized bicycles, and diversified (rubber) products

Partnership Overview

A Worldwide Olympic Partner since 2014, Bridgestone will provide product, services and expertise in support of the Olympic Movement and its athletes through 2024. Bridgestone debuted as a TOP Partner in Rio 2016 and received full worldwide marketing rights effective January 2017.

TV Ad Support 

Bridgestone is using the “Chase Your Dream, No Matter What” global campaign to show how the Olympic spirit helps people overcome adversity. The campaign features 19 Olympians who faced significant obstacles in their lives.

In the U.S., Bridgestone uses a campaign called “Clutch Performance” that features figure skater Ashely Wagner going for a spin to demonstrate the handling of Bridgestone Potenza tires.

Bridgestone is the first Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel.

Digital/Social Activation

Bridgestone has launched an immersive digital brand experience on Bridgestone.com that features the Team Bridgestone athlete roster. The content serves as an extension of the “Clutch Performance” platform via a series of dynamic videos that profile how five athletes (and Bridgestone tires) deliver in the clutch.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

Bridgestone has equipped IOC fleet vehicles with Blizzak winter tires. The company is visible via out-of-home advertising at Incheon Airport, throughout Seoul and around PyeongChang Olympic venues. Bridgestone also has a robust client hospitality program at the Games.

Athlete Partnerships 

Bridgestone has partnered with more than 50 athletes across ten countries including Nathan Chen, Maciej Kot, Elana Meyers Taylor and Amy Purdy.

Retail promotions 

Bridgestone Retail Operations, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, launched a contest in advance of the PyeongChang Games that celebrates the "clutch performances" of parents who support young athletes. Consumers entered the contest on social media and through the web sites of its Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus and Wheel Works retail tire chains.

The winner of the contest will receive a visit from an Olympian.

Company: Coca-Cola  

Designation: Exclusive non-alcoholic beverage

Partnership Overview

Coca-Cola became a charter member of the TOP program in 1986 as an exclusive sponsor in the non-alcoholic beverage category. But the company’s involvement with the Olympic Movement goes back further: Coca-Cola was involved in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam and has supported every Olympic Games since. In 2005, Coca-Cola and the IOC extended the partnership for an unprecedented 12 years.

TV Ad Support 

Coca-Cola is running a series of TV commercials that feature South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim and actor Park Bo Gum. The theme of the series is “Together as One” and centers around the Olympic Torch relay.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

Coca-Cola has unveiled a 15-meter high vending machine and “photo cubes” that provide photo opportunities for spectators in the Olympic Park and Plaza, respectively. Other activations include product sampling and Games-themed experiences linked to the “Together as One” campaign.

Athlete Partnerships

Sponsored athletes include Mac Bohonnon, Amy Purdy, Elena Meyers Taylor and Nathan Chen. Coca-Cola is touting the athletes on limited edition “Share a Coke” bottles that feature the “four-pack” of U.S. Olympic Athletes. Coca-Cola also is promoting the athletes in custom digital content and other promotional efforts including athlete-inspired Coca-Cola Freestyle flavors.

Promotions 

Coca-Cola is running the “Sip, Cheer, Win” promotion in the U.S. that dangles TeamUSA gear, United Airlines flights and other prizes.

Company: Dow Chemical

Designation: Official chemistry company, official carbon partner

Partnership Overview

Dow has been a TOP sponsor of the Olympics since 2010, and has been involved with the Games in some capacity for more than 35 years. The company’s Olympic marketing campaigns focus on demonstrating the expertise of its engineers and products and how they can improve the Olympic experience.

Business-to-Business

Dow is activating the PyeongChang Games by improving the Game experience for athletes and spectators. The company used its technology to keep the Olympic Plaza, Olympic Village housing and International Broadcast Center waterproof and warm, and used its advanced polyurethane technology to develop mattresses for the Olympic Village.

As a technical partner of the USA luge team, Dow engineers worked with the team to make their sleds quicker and more agile. Dow focused on improving components of sled materials via sensors, GPS data, physics models and lab testing.

Dow also has provided heat transfer fluids to three ice skating rinks to maintain ice temperature and keep the skating surfaces smooth.

Company: General Electric

Designation: Exclusive energy generation systems; energy distribution systems, diagnostic imaging, monitoring and electronic medical records technology; lighting fixtures & systems; aircraft engines; rail transportation; water treatment facilities & services; equipment & transportation management

Partnership Overview

General Electric in 2011 extended its Worldwide TOP Partnership in a new eight-year agreement through the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. The company uses the sponsorship to demonstrate technology, build visibility outside the U.S. market and drive new business.

TV Ad Support

General Electric is leveraging the 2018 Winter Olympic Games with a trio of ads that highlight how its products (an incubator, jet engine and power generator) transform life, both individually and collectively.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

Technology integration plays a key role in GE’s on-site activation. The company has created an Energy Monitoring System that harnesses insights from thousands of data points at the Games to enable the early detection of potential disruptions. GE will analyze the data in cost savings planning for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

In addition, GE Healthcare has developed software that allows doctors to provide personalized healthcare via athletes’ medical, venue and sport-specific records. The IOC also is using the software to monitor for disease outbreaks, injury clusters and other medical issues that may require a rapid response.

Company: Intel

Designation: Exclusive processors, chips, and similar silicon platforms for 5G technology, VR, 3D, and 360-degree content; sports performance; AI; drones

Partnership Overview

Intel and the International Olympic Committee in 2017 signed a long-term technology partnership that makes Intel a TOP partner through 2024. Intel is working with the IOC to reimagine the Olympic Games and introduce new forms of fan engagement through leading-edge technology.

Digital/Social Activation

Intel is using the True VR app to offer the first live virtual reality broadcast of the Winter Olympic Games. Utilizing VR, Intel is recording 30 Olympic events during the 17-day event to provide spectators with multiple viewing points across multiple destinations.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

Intel is delivering a 5G showcase in Gangnung Olympic Park and other Olympic venues across South Korea and is using drones to unveil drone light show technology.

Athlete Partnerships 

Intel-sponsored athletes include Ayumu Hirano, Hannah Brandt and Maia and Alex Shibutani. The company is providing fans behind-the-scenes insights on training and competing in the Games through the True VR app.

Company: Panasonic

Designation: Exclusive audio/TV/video equipment

Partnership Overview

Panasonic became a Worldwide Olympic Partner in 1987 when it joined the TOP Program as a charter member. The company has supported the Games for more than 30 years with its AV equipment solutions. Sharing the values of the Olympic Movement, Panasonic will continue its partnership with the Olympic Games through 2024.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

Panasonic has provided the Games with technical expertise for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, laser projectors for the Super Hi-Vision Theatre, RAMSA audio equipment and large-screen LED systems.

Company: Omega

Designation: Exclusive timepiece, timing, scoring and venue results systems and services

Partnership Overview

Omega first partnered with the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games in 1932. Since then, the company has provided the Games with timing, scoring, and in-venue results systems and equipment. In 2017, Omega extended its IOC partnership through 2032. Timing equipment products include starting pistols, touchpads and photo-finish cameras.

TV Ad Support 

Omega created a TV commercial titled “Recording Olympic Dreams” that highlights the company’s role in recording Olympic records.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

Omega has provided the Games with 300 timekeepers, 350 volunteers and 230 tons of equipment. The company also has created two watches to celebrate the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games; one watch features the colors of the Korean flag, while the other features the five Olympic rings.

Company: Procter & Gamble 

Designation: Official personal care and household products partner

Partnership Overview

P&G has been a TOP sponsor since 2010. The company refers to itself as the “Proud Sponsor of Moms” through an advertising campaign that reflects the importance of mothers and family in an athlete’s career. P&G modified the campaign this year to place more focus on social issues.

TV Ad Support 

P&G has pivoted its long-running “Thank You Mom” Olympics campaign for the PyeongChang Games. The campaign, called” #LoveOverBias,” features Olympic athletes and their moms, with a focus on overcoming racial and other forms of bias. P&G is running six different ads in more than 20 countries that showcase how Olympic athletes have overcome racial, disability and gender bias to achieve their dreams and how their mothers have supported them along the way.

Digital/Social Activation

P&G has a section of its website that promotes the #LoveOverBias campaign and its Olympic partnership. The site features campaign ads and interviews with P&G athletes such as Michelle Kwan and Zahra Lari.

On-Site Activation/Presence 

P&G’s on-the-ground activation includes the P&G Family Home, a hospitality venue that aspires to serve as a “home away from home” for athletes and their family and friends. The space offers a variety of services themed around P&G’s various personal care and household products including the Pampers play area for toddlers, a Tide laundry service and a Gillette shaving station for dads. P&G launched the P&G Family Home at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Athlete Partnerships 

Sponsored athletes include Gus Kenworthy, Elana Meyers Taylor, Oksana Masters, Michelle Kwan and Zahra Lari 

Company: Samsung

Designation: Official wireless communications and computing equipment partner

Partnership Overview

Samsung has supported the Olympic Games for 30 years (the last time the Olympics were in Samsung’s home country of South Korea), with a focus on exposing fans and athletes to unique and innovative products and experiences.

TV Ad Support

Samsung is continuing its “Do What You Can’t” advertising campaign from previous Olympic Games. The ad features Dutch speed skaters training while wearing Samsung smart suits, which help track posture and speed.

Digital/Social Activation

Samsung is the presenting sponsor of the PyeongChang 2018 mobile app. The app is designed to enhance the fan experience via real-time updates, athlete bios, medal standings and Olympic Game records. The app is available in five languages and offers customized content based on the users’ location. The app also features 3D maps and drone flyby videos.

On-Site Activation/Presence

Samsung is hosting nine interactive experiences throughout the Games. The “Olympic Showcases” include cultural, technological and immersive fan experiences. Fans also can use Samsung products, including its virtual reality offerings, to experience Samsung’s Olympic history.

Samsung has provided Olympic athletes with a special edition Galaxy Note 8. Athletes are encouraged to use the phones to post about their experience at the Games. Samsung also has teamed up with fellow TOP sponsor Intel to provide media outlets with access to virtual reality equipment.

Athlete Partnerships

Samsung athletes include Chloe Kim and Gus Kenworthy

Company: Toyota Motor Corp.

Designation: Official mobility partner (vehicles, mobility services and mobility solutions)

Partnership Overview

Toyota and the IOC in 2015 announced a nine-year agreement that runs through the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The automaker uses the partnership to promote its mobility solutions including intelligent transport systems, urban traffic systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems.

Toyota in 2017 signed new deals with U.S. Figure Skating and U.S. Speedskating and expanded its partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard in support of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The automaker in 2016 became a Founding Member of the Olympic Channel.

TV Ad Support

Toyota profiles its sponsored athletes in its “Start Your Impossible” global advertising campaign. The campaign includes both TV commercials and videos.

On-Site Activation/Presence

Toyota has taken a low-key presence at the PyeongChang Games, largely ceding on-site activation to Hyundai, a major South Korea auto manufacturer and sponsor of the PyeongChang organizing committee.

Athlete Partnerships

Toyota sponsors more than 50 athletes at PyeongChang 2018 including Taiki Morii,
Ayuko Ito, Sumire Kikuchi and Hiroki Yokoyama.

Company: Visa

Designation: Official payment services, transaction security and pre-paid cards

Partnership Overview

Visa has been a TOP sponsor of the IOC and the Olympic Games for 32 years. In that time, the brand has gone from simply being a credit card to providing innovative payment solutions. Visa’s PyeongChang marketing campaign focuses on its new technology — especially e-commerce, touchless payments and wearables.

TV Ad Support

Visa’s Olympic ads feature winter athletes using the brand’s contactless cards and wearable payment devices as they train for the Games. The campaign, called “Resetting Finish Lines,” was launched via the personal social media accounts of Team Visa athletes — before its traditional debut on global digital and broadcast channels. Visa is airing localized versions of the ad in Canada, China, Japan, Italy, South Korea, the U.K., the U.S. and Poland.

Digital/Social Activation

Visa has devoted a section on its web site to the Winter Games. The site features articles about Visa’s involvement with the Games and how it supports Olympic athletes.

On-Site Activation/Presence

Visa is operating more than 1,000 payment terminals at Olympic venues in PyeongChang that accept mobile and wearable payments. The company also created special edition wearable gloves, stickers and pins for the Games that trigger contactless transactions, and has spent more than a year creating a “signature sound” that is played when someone makes a transaction using a Visa card.

In addition, Visa is hosting the “Visa Everywhere Lounge” at The Seamarq hotel near the Olympic village. The lounge showcases the new forms of payment Visa is pushing out at the Games, every Olympic torch since 1988 and images of legendary past and present Team Visa athletes.

Athlete Partnerships

Visa sponsors more than 50 Olympic and Paralympic athletes including Mikaela Shiffrin, Gus Kenworthy and Oksana Masters. Team Visa includes athletes representing 21 countries and 15 different sports. In addition to including Team Visa athletes in its marketing campaign, Visa offers the athletes’ financial support and financial literacy training.