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Samsung Electronics Having Headache over Tokyo Olympics Sponsorship
Uncomfortable with Olympic Partnership
Samsung Electronics Having Headache over Tokyo Olympics Sponsorship
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • September 16, 2019, 08:56
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Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong (right) and International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach show their signatures after concluding an agreement on Samsung's Olympic partnership at a hotel in Nanjing, China in August 2014.

Samsung Electronics is analyzing how its partnership for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will affect itself. This is because its sponsorship can have a negative effect on its brand image with trade disputes going on between South Korea and Japan. Samsung Electronics is yet to launch large-scale Olympic marketing activities whereas official Olympic sponsors in general do so one year before the upcoming Olympic Games.

For example, the company released the limited Galaxy S10+ Tokyo Olympics Edition with NTT Docomo in Japan in July this year but has refrained from advertising it. “Our sponsorship for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is already determined based on our contract in 2014 with the International Olympic Committee, and yet we cannot deny that we are somewhat uncomfortable with it,” Samsung Electronics said.

The committee provides exclusive Olympic marketing rights for 13 The Olympic Partners (TOPs) representing 13 sectors. Samsung Electronics is currently the only South Korean company in the TOP programme. The company participated in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul as a local partner and has sponsored the Olympic Games since 1997.

“It seems that South Korean companies’ Tokyo Olympics-related marketing effect will be zero with the only TOP company in South Korea in no position to do any marketing activities in relation to the upcoming Olympics,” said an industry insider.