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Missing the gun on Olympic marketing

Missing the gun on Olympic marketing

For the world's biggest sporting event, Olympic fever in the Gulf is less than fever pitch.

August 4, 2008 4:58 by

The Olympics kicks off this Friday (at 8.08pm on the 08.08.08 for those interested in lucky Chinese numbers), and for the world’s biggest sporting event there has been a remarkably low-key build up in the Gulf.

True, the Olympics does not generate the same kind of viewing figures as the football World Cup (or even Euro Championships), but it is more reflective of the multicultural Gulf states.

In Dubai, with an estimated 150 different nationalities bumping along complaining about rents, traffic and the weather, there must be some connection to the Games. It is surprising no local brand has tried to tie in with, say, a Filipino boxer, Russian gymnast, French athlete, Australian swimmer or Iranian weightlifter to make a connection with the expat community. And even expats shared the joy when Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum won gold for the UAE in 2004.

Football creates a team spirit, the Olympics often tell more personal stories. Pity few Gulf marketers have had the wit to bother.

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