When it comes to the celebration of sports as a whole, there really isn’t anything out there that matches the spectacle of the Olympic Games. From lavish opening ceremonies to the exhilarating action, spectators from around the world gather (with flags in hand) to celebrate their teams in hopes that their countries and athletes will be immortalised—and this will certainly be the case during the Olympics in Paris 2024.

With the modern Olympic Games having certainly become a draw, with 3.05 billion unique views racked up during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a staggering 28 billion video views on the Olympic broadcast partners’ digital platforms alone, it might be interesting to look back at where it all started—Olympia.

A (very) brief history of the ancient Olympic Games and where the Games stand today

The ancient Olympic Games began in 776 BC (some evidence says that the Games date back to the 9th or 10th century BC), when a cook from a nearby city called Elis won the stadion race, a 600-foot race. According to literary traditions, this was the only athletic event of the Games for the first 13 Olympic Games until 724 BC.

Stadion track | Smithsonian Magazine

Eventually, the Games expanded from one day to five, featuring 18 events including the pentathlon, boxing, wrestling, and chariot races—the latter usually seeing the wealthiest competitors participating. Clearly, a lot has changed since then, with 32 sports and 329 events being featured in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

This year also marks an important milestone brands are queuing to take advantage of—the Olympic Games are returning to Paris exactly 100 years later (the last Paris Games being held in 1924).

While the history of the Games is rich and makes for an interesting read, we should probably get into the marketing side of things. Here we go.

The evolution of marketing at the Olympic Games

When the Games started, marketing wasn’t really a big focus because the organisers celebrated sportsmanship and were influenced by their love of the Games.

From the 1950s, however, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began to take more interest in creating marketing-related initiatives. The 1948 Games in London were the first to establish the principle of broadcast rights fees, and the 1952 Games in Helsinki were the first to launch a marketing programme focusing on the international market.

The 1980s was a game-changer. The marketing campaigns implemented back then are still in existence, from sponsorships to category-exclusive marketing rights. It’s important to note that while the revenues are well into the billions (for instance, the 2013 and 2016 Winter and Summer Games brought in USD 5.7 billion in total), the IOC is a non-profit organisation and 90% of the revenue goes back into athlete and sport development initiatives.

With all these marketing initiatives proving to be nothing short of successful, they also brought many opportunities for big brands that wanted to get in on the action.

Paris Olympics 2024 and the race to brand supremacy

The Olympics have never been short of sponsorships, with brands leveraging live activations and social media campaigns to capitalise on the event’s global reach. The Paris 2024 Olympics are no exception. Brands today are seizing the opportunity to create impactful marketing strategies that resonate with the worldwide audience of the Games.

The four-year gaps between the Games mean that each time the Games are hosted new avenues for branding and marketing opportunities have popped up. While brands are certainly bringing their A-game, Parisians are also preparing with their branding strategy.

Let’s start with the logo

The unveiling of the Olympic logo is a highly anticipated event, especially in the creative world. What’s special about this year’s logo is that both the Olympic and Paralympic Games will share the same logo, taking a more inclusive stance.

As shown above, the emblem will consist of three elements: The Gold Medal, Olympic Flames, and Marianne. While the first two elements are well-known to anyone who’s seen the Games even in passing, Marianne is a unique element connected to the French heritage. It represents humanism, generosity, fraternity, and sharing—values of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Next up, posters that ignite brand identity

It’s well known that the French are proud citizens, and when it comes to the city of love, they haven’t forgotten to put their brand to ignite the Olympics in Paris 2024. The official posters for the event were released in 2022 in a unique ‘diptych’ format. This simply means the posters can stand alone or form a complete picture when placed side-by-side.

Once again, the branding isn’t just about Paris but the Games as a whole since the meaning behind this thought process was to represent the interconnectedness of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Here’s the poster depicting Paris as a ‘stadium city’.

2024 Paris Summer Olympics poster | Euro News

‘Games Wide Open’

Paris wanted to make the event memorable (remember earlier when we said that France is a proud nation?). To unveil the official slogan for the Olympics in Paris 2024, they released a video that pays homage to the magnitude of the event.

Unveiling the 2024 Paris Olympics slogan | Paris 2024

While there are many interpretations of the slogan, the central theme is inclusivity and making the Games accessible to everyone. They also wanted to tear down barriers and create a sense of connection between the athletes, fans, and Paris itself.

And finally, the mascot

Mascots add a lot of value to a brand, especially in sports branding, so it’s no surprise that the Olympics in Paris 2024 decided to go that route.

The Paris Olympic Games unveiled the ‘Olympic Phryge’ as the mascot. The design was inspired by the Phryge hats which are symbols relevant to the French Republic. You can bet these mascots will be featured everywhere—from merchandise to campaigns.

2024 Paris Olympics mascots ‘Olympic Phryge’ | NBC

When it comes to getting the French and Parisian brands out there, it seems that there’s a lot that businesses can learn from the 2024 Olympics. From cohesive themes across various campaigns to connecting with people from all walks of life, the 2024 Games are making a splash and giving big brands a blueprint of sorts on how branding should be done.

But are these efforts working?

While the expected viewership numbers for the Paris Olympics are around the same ballpark as the Tokyo Olympics, it’s still a large number of fans watching their nation’s athletes compete for a spot on the coveted podium and walk away with a medal.

Brands can’t miss out on these opportunities no matter where they advertise their products and services. For instance, during the 2012 London Olympics, Coca-Cola saw a boost in product sales volumes, thanks to its marketing efforts.

With 53% of adults watching the 2024 Summer Olympics likely to be influenced by internet ads, it’s a no-brainer to capitalise on this opportunity.

How brands are turning the Olympics into cash

Promoting brands and products during the Olympic season translates into massive exposure! So we’re shining the spotlight on some campaigns by big brands that you can take inspiration from to create your own on various channels and platforms. 


Yes, Nike is a brand synonymous with spending big on marketing, with Reuters reporting that their spend on the Paris Olympics will be their biggest media spend.

What are they doing you might wonder? They introduced a uniform collection for track and field events to showcase their commitment to equipping their athletes for peak performance. Campaigns like this boost their credibility and trust in the sports arena.

Nike 2024 Paris Olympics campaign | Women’s Wear Daily

Air France

An official partner for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Air France doesn’t really have anything to do with sports if you really think about it. But that isn’t stopping them from getting in on the action with full-fledged welcome experiences.

Under the campaign, ‘Proud to welcome the world to France’, the airline is displaying visuals of the Olympic Games venue in airports and sharing them on online channels to create a cohesive experience from the moment they land until they arrive at the Games, leaving a lasting impression on visitors. What’s Air France hoping to achieve? Their main goal with the campaign is to highlight the Games while promoting their brand on a global scale.

Air France 2024 Paris Olympics campaign | Air France


Launching the ‘Open always wins’ campaign, Samsung is embracing openness which is at the foundation of the Olympics in Paris 2024. The smartphone manufacturer is doing this in a few ways.

First, they’re collaborating with athletes from different sports like German para sprinter Johannes Floors and French skateboarder Aurélien Giraud. Plus, they’re also unveiling an experiential activation called ‘Olympic Rendezvous’ that takes customers through some iconic moments from the Games.

Multi-faceted approaches like this have a long-term impact on the audience and also make your brand credible in the industry and ensure brand visibility.

Samsung ‘Olympic Rendezvous’ experiential activation for the 2024 Olympic Games | Samsung Newsroom


Deloitte is another brand that doesn’t really pop into your mind when you talk about sports marketing, but that isn’t keeping them from entering the fray.

Their video campaign, ‘The First Effect’, speaks to the transformative power of global events like the Olympics. The video is all about athletes who push the boundaries and inspire the next generation of athletes. 

To bring their message to life, they used trailblazing athletes like Great Britain’s Nicola Adams who became the first-ever female Olympic boxing champion at the London Games in 2012. The campaign also highlights some firsts for the Olympics in Paris 2024—it is the first-ever opening ceremony which will be happening outside of the stadium and it will be the first with equal male and female athletes participating for their chance at an Olympic medal.

Deloitte’s ‘The First Effect’ campaign | Deloitte


From Pampers to Gillette and Oral-B, P&G has some ubiquitous products behind them and they’re creating dedicated campaigns with a multi-faceted approach to the Summer Olympics.

While P&G does have collaborations in place with athletes for each of their brands, they’re also creating brand activations in the form of complementary products and services like ‘The Village Nursery’ which promotes Pampers at the Athletes’ Village.

This is to demonstrate the brand’s influence in the daily lives of the athletes, which is a great way to build trust and sales!

P&G’s ‘The Village Nursery’ at the Athlete’s Village | International Olympic Committee

Olympics in Paris 2024: Will your brand be there?

206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). Billions of viewers. What an opportunity to miss if you’re a marketer trying to reach a global audience. 

We’ve talked about brands like Deloitte and P&G which aren’t really brands that are immediately associated with sports. But that’s not stopping them from trying to capitalise on these opportunities that only come by every 4 years.

For smaller brands that don’t have million-dollar budgets, these examples are great starting points to get those creative sparks going. With the Olympics in Paris 2024 closing in, there’s still time to adjust your marketing strategy and create memorable moments that will live long after the Olympic flames are snuffed out.


What types of content should small businesses create to engage audiences during the Olympics?

To engage audiences during the Olympics, small businesses should focus on creating compelling and shareable content that resonates with the themes of the Games. Inspirational stories, such as those of local athletes or community figures, can draw significant interest. 

Behind-the-scenes content showing the business’s preparations and excitement for the Games can humanise the brand and build anticipation. Interactive content like quizzes, polls, and contests can enhance engagement, while themed products or services introduced for a limited time can drive sales.

How can small businesses maximise social media marketing during the Olympics?

To maximise social media marketing during the Olympics, small businesses should use relevant but non-trademarked hashtags to join broader conversations about the Games. Engaging actively with followers by responding to comments, sharing user-generated content, and participating in discussions can enhance connection and loyalty. 

Maintaining a consistent posting schedule with diverse content formats, including videos, images, and stories, keeps the audience engaged. Running social media contests can encourage participation and increase brand visibility, especially if small prizes or discounts are offered.

How can small businesses measure the success of their Olympic-themed marketing campaigns?

To measure the success of Olympic-themed marketing campaigns, small businesses should track a variety of metrics. Social media metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and follower growth provide insights into engagement levels. Analysing website traffic through tools like Google Analytics can reveal if there has been an increase in visitors during the campaign period. 

Comparing sales data from the campaign to previous periods can help assess any uptick in revenue. Collecting customer feedback through surveys or direct interactions provides qualitative insights into customer reactions. Finally, assessing engagement rates in contests, events, and promotions can offer a comprehensive view of how well the campaign resonated with the target audience.