For many advertisers, skipping the Olympics is ‘not an option’.

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The Olympics have been around for a long time. ideal forum for companies they promote themselves with feel-good stories about athletes overcoming challenges and many opportunities to place ads between competitions.

But now, as 11,000 contestants from over 200 countries converge in Tokyo amid the coronavirus pandemic, Olympic advertisers are concerned about the more than $1 billion they spent advertising on the streaming platform NBC and Peacock.

Calls to be canceled more 15.4 billion dollars The extravaganza intensified as more athletes tested positive for Covid-19. The event is also deeply unpopular Japanese citizens and many public health professionals, who is afraid will become a super emitter event.

The Olympics are already damaged goods,” said Jules Boykoff, a former Olympic football player for the United States and a sports policy expert at the University of the Pacific in Oregon. We may see some rapid changes.”

Panasonic, one of the top sponsors, will not send its CEO to the opening ceremony scheduled for Friday. Toyota is one of Japan’s most influential companies. I said It had abandoned its plans to run Olympic-themed ads in Japan.

Marketing plans in the United States mostly move forward.

for paying NBCUniversal millions of dollars For the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States until 2032, the event is a crucial source of income. NBC has over 140 sponsors for televised coverage. peacock and online, an increase of over 100 signed for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“For some of our premium advertisers, not being there with an audience of this size and scale is not an option,” said Jeremy Carey, general manager of sports marketing agency Optimum Sports.

Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, said the situation isn’t “ideal,” but the company still has a offer Containing profiles of Olympic athletes.

Television attracted the bulk of advertising spending, but the amount brought in by digital and streaming ads is expected to increase. While various forecasts predict that TV ratings for the Olympics will lag behind those of the Games in Rio and London, broadcast viewers grow sharp.

Advertising agency executives said companies are checking for updates on the Covid outbreak in Japan and can fine-tune their marketing messages accordingly.

“Everyone is a little cautious,” said David Droga, founder of the Droga5 ad agency, which worked on an Olympic campaign for Facebook. showcasing skateboarders. “People are pretty fragile right now. Advertisers don’t want to be too sweet or too clever, but they’re trying to find the right tone.”

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