London 2012: Inspire a Generation or Kick Start the Economy?

Olympic Corporate Sponsorship
Photograph: Tyler McNally


As the official London Olympic motto seeks to encourage young people across the globe, it appears that the Games are now being highlighted as a strategy for economic development.

David Cameron has already announced that “Britain can deliver” on the commercial stage as a result of the Olympics. With a host of worldwide sponsorship partners and an influx of corporate identities, Lord Coe’s vision to inspire the next crop of sportsmen and women begins to adopt a backstage role as the importance of business is catapulted into the foreground.

As a result of exclusive sponsorship rights, McDonald’s are reaping the benefits from becom

ing the only provider of fries across Olympic venues. With McDonald’s as the restaurant sponsor, food caterers at the Games have been banned from serving the fast-food favourite.

McDonald’s joins Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Heineken in a list of branded food providers, whilst the value of long-term sponsorship from fast-food corporations appears to override the promotion of healthy eating, typically associated with sport.

In attempts to showcase London to the rest of the world, the true Olympic spirit could potentially be clouded by a thirst for improvement in international trade. The creation of the British brand is set to generate £10bn in revenue with an additional £2.1bn to be expected from tourists.

Although London 2012 continues to inspire millions through its showcase of sporting triumphs, it is clear that sport has become more than just a competition. It has become a spectacle.

Coe’s vision “to reach young people all around the world” can now be associated with Cameron’s strive for better business.