Tale of 2 cities: Olympics sponsors in Pyeongchang and Tokyo

The Winter Olympics entrance to South Korea in Feb offer an instance of a Olympian efforts mostly compulsory to accommodate corporate sponsorship goals. Tokyo tells a opposite story: The coffers are already superfluous for a 2020 Summer Games.

It’s a story of dual cities and dual Olympics — winter and summer.

Pyeongchang is a little-known finish in one of South Korea’s lowest provinces. It is a ‘little city that could,’ behest twice unsuccessfully for a Winter Olympics before winning on a third try. A final pull enabled it to strech a sponsorship aim of 940 billion won ($830 million) in September, with only 5 months to go.

Tokyo is an determined tellurian capital, and a Summer Games customarily beget some-more fad — and some-more money. Organizers have lifted 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in sponsorship, twice any prior Olympics. International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates describes it as a conspicuous achievement.

The anomalous practice of dual Asian horde cities illustrate a hurdles that smaller bidders face, as good as South Korea’s coherence on a large family-owned companies that browbeat a economy. Not that Tokyo is home-free. The cost of a 2020 Games has scarcely doubled from initial projections. As with many Olympics, taxpayers will have to feet a good partial of a bill.



Starting with a 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea has used mega-events such as a soccer World Cup to lift a form of a nation and a production exporters.

Pyeongchang is different. The plan was instituted by internal politicians in an area prolonged alienated politically and economically in South Korea’s arise to prosperity. Some feared people would upset a city’s name with Pyongyang, a North Korean capital. They couldn’t count on a involuntary support of a outrageous family-run conglomerates, famous as “chaebol,” such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG.

“When such mega-events were a nation-state’s pivotal project, a chaebol were called on and were approaching to spin a heading participants,” pronounced Joo Yu-min, a highbrow during a National University of Singapore who co-authored a book on South Korea’s use of mega-events.

In a end, a inhabitant supervision brought a conglomerates in, initial in a bid process, and afterwards for sponsorship. That underscores both a outsized purpose they play in a economy and their tighten ties with government. They owe a debt to special diagnosis from a government, that in spin used them to industrialize a nation after a harmful 1950-53 Korean War.

After Pyeongchang’s bid was deserted a second time, a supervision called on Samsung and others to help. The boss even pardoned Lee Kun-hee, a primogenitor of a Samsung initial family who had been an IOC member yet willingly dangling his membership after being indicted for taxation evasion. The IOC backed Lee in 2010 with a rebuke and some restrictions, permitting him to run heavily for what became Pyeongchang’s winning bid in 2011.

It took 3 years for a organizing cabinet to pointer a initial domestic sponsor, KT Corp., a country’s second-largest mobile carrier. Again, a inhabitant supervision asked a conglomerates for help. All a vital ones sealed on, after a bureau of then-President Park Geun-hye finished a special ask and multichannel pressures for financial assistance, Joo said.

Elsewhere, companies might import sponsorship decisions formed some-more on a selling benefits. “In South Korea, companies make donations out of a clarity of avocation that they are being partial of a inhabitant event,” pronounced Park Dong Min, a executive executive overseeing membership during a Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sponsors who sealed adult late weren’t peaceful to give as much, since there was reduction time to suffer a selling benefits. A bank that sealed on reduction than a year before a Games significantly reduced a sponsorship.

To tip it off, a large sports-related domestic crime liaison rocked South Korea in 2016, only when Pyeongchang was creation last-ditch efforts to lift sponsorship.

“Companies showed some reluctance” to unite a Olympics, pronounced Eom Chanwang, executive of a Pyeongchang organizing cabinet selling team. “Nevertheless, they still joined.”

The liaison brought down Park, a president. Lee Jae-yong, a successor to a Samsung group, perceived a five-year judgment for bribery.

Lee, who has appealed, had spin de facto arch of a Samsung organisation after his father Lee Kun-hee, a IOC member pardoned in late 2009, fell ill. It was a younger Lee who sealed an agreement with IOC President Thomas Bach to extend Samsung Electronics’ sponsorship of a Olympics globally by 2020. Samsung declined interviews for this story.

With a liaison still uninformed in people’s minds, vital companies have hold behind from rising bone-fide selling to foster a Games.

“Samsung traditionally has finished consumer selling by a Olympics, yet since a arch is in jail, it can't do as most these days,” pronounced Kim Do-kyun, a sports highbrow during Kyung Hee University Graduate School of Physical Education.

The Pyeongchang Games were a biggest plant of a scandal, he said.



The boss of Japan’s biggest toilet manufacturer was 7 years aged when a Olympics initial came to Japan.

TOTO Ltd. finished news in 1964 for a prefabricated toilet-and-bath units that helped speed a construction of a oppulance hotel, a New Otani, in time for a Games. The company, now famous for high-tech toilets that perplex some unfamiliar visitors, is behind as a unite of Tokyo 2020.

“I feel a association and a Olympics have been connected by fate,” TOTO boss Madoka Kitamura pronounced during a sponsorship signing rite during a same hotel final year.

The $2.7 billion in sponsorship for Tokyo 2020 is some-more than 3 times a strange estimate. By comparison, sponsorship income was $848 million in Rio de Janeiro final year, and about $1.2 billion for both London 2012 and Beijing 2008. The Winter Olympics typically attract less, yet Sochi, Russia, lifted $1.2 billion in 2014.

Analysts charge Tokyo’s success to both nationalism and a clarity of nostalgia for a 1964 Summer Games. They were most some-more than a sports competition for Japan. They were a impulse of pride, imprinting a country’s lapse as an industrial energy after a extinction of World War II and a seven-year U.S. occupation.

“All of Japan still recognizes a singular purpose that a 1964 Olympics played in Japan’s stepping out onto a universe stage,” pronounced Michael Payne, a former IOC selling executive who now works as a consultant. “Many of a CEOs of tip Japanese companies would have been immature kids behind in ’64 and are really wakeful of a purpose those Games played for a psychological liberation from a Second World War.”

They grew adult with a high-speed “Shinkansen” bullet train, inaugurated in 1964; complicated expressways and western-style toilets, all black of Japan’s postwar mercantile growth.

“Now they have spin business leaders, they wish to minister and leave something behind that can be remembered for a subsequent 50 years,” pronounced Masahiko Sakamaki, executive executive of selling for a Tokyo organizing committee.

He pronounced that memories of a liberation might have increasing seductiveness in sponsorship, as Japan was still disorder from a lethal 2011 trembler and tsunami when Tokyo won a bid in 2013.

Sakamaki pronounced a organizing cabinet started receiving sponsorship inquiries as shortly as it was determined in 2014, before a central start of sponsorship contracts in 2015. There is so most seductiveness that a IOC is permitting Tokyo to have mixed sponsors in some categories, instead of a common one, including in aviation, journal publishing, wiring and banking.

TOTO officials won’t contend how most they are contributing, yet media reports contend companies in a sponsorship difficulty give between 6 billion and 15 billion yen ($53 million to $133.5 million). Tokyo 2020 wouldn’t criticism on those reports.

“We trust a participation as partial of an all-Japan bid toward a successful Olympics will raise a auspicious code image,” pronounced Mariko Shibasaki, a company’s comparison planner for sports communication.

Thanks in partial to strong sponsorship revenue, a organizing cabinet has increasing a grant to a cost of a games from 500 billion to 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion). The sponsorship income creates adult half of a income in a privately-run organizing committee’s handling budget. Other income comes from a International Olympic Committee, selling and sheet sales.

The altogether cost of a Tokyo Olympics is estimated during 1.4 trillion yen (12.4 billion) with a Tokyo supervision shouldering 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) and a remaining 200 billion yen (1.8 billion) paid by a inhabitant supervision and internal governments hosting events.

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