Tag Archives: Olympics

Real Estate to Plumbing and Mushrooms

This gentleman here, M Seagle, is an American businessman and Real Estate developer and has been involved in numerous projects since the 1950s in the Seattle area. He owned a private asphalt construction business which he sold off in 1998 to the Irish concern CRH plc, for integration into its Oldcastle Materials unit.

But his legacy comes from the time in 1981 when he had rented out one of his warehouses to a company, to use as their American headquarters. The company, at the time, was struggling for a bit, and therefore got behind on their rent payment. They were however confident that their latest offering waiting for release would really do well in the American market.

Seagle, nevertheless, wasn’t too happy about the late rent payments and paid the company a visit, there was a heated argument and in the end, the company’s America President, managed to placate him with a promise that the rent would be paid soon. And this was the meeting that sealed Seagle’s legacy.

The company in question was Nintendo, their latest release was going to be Donkey Kong and the meeting/argument with M Seagle gave them the inspiration for their lead character’s name.

The Italian plumber/adventurer, who is forever told that his princess is in another castle, and is probably addicted to hallucinogenic mushrooms, is named after MARIO Seagle.

And if you haven’t watched it already, check out the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, dressed up as Mario in the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_Kj2mPIp1I here at this link.

When The US Wins, McDonald’s Loses!

We wrote about the 84 Olympics yesterday, and today we are writing about the marketing misadventure that went along with it.

McDonald’s went all-in with their sponsorship of the Games and announced the “If the US win, you win” campaign. Customers got scratch cards with an event printed on them and if an US athlete won a medal in that event, the card holder got a free Big Mac or fries or a Coke depending on whether it was Gold, Silver or bronze.

The only slight problem was that McDonald’s based their campaign on the the US’s medal count from their last participated Games – 76 Montreal – the US had boycotted the 80 Moscow Games because of Cold War tensions. The US had won 94 medals in the Montreal Games, of which 34 were Gold. But the top two nations in that Olympics was Russia and East Germany.

Now the slight problem was that after the Moscow boycott, Eastern Bloc nations responded in kind and missed the Los Angeles Games. Which meant that in the absence of Russia and East Germany, US won far more medals than McDonald’s had expected – 174 medals with 83 Golds.

Apparently many outlet ran out of Big Macs and obviously McDonald’s made a huge loss. The Simpsons episode, Lisa’s First Word references this entire fiasco, where Krusty beings the promotion for Krusty Burger.

Los Angeles 1984: The Olympics That Financially Changed the Games!

Los Angeles 1984 went a long way in securing the future of Olympic Games. It was and still is the most financially profitable Games. After the disaster that the Montreal Games were, in monetary terms, no other city was willing to bid for the Olympics. Tehran, the only other city to have bid, pulled out because of political concerns. New York and Los Angeles were interested but since only one city from each country can bid, the decision basically came down to the US Olympic Committee’s choice. Los Angeles won the vote and went on to create history.
The biggest factor in favour of Los Angeles was the disinterest of other cities, a fact that Los Angeles leveraged and decided against building any new facilities thus avoiding huge expenditure. The second thing that Los Angeles did uniquely was securing corporate sponsorship for the only two facilities that were built from scratch. The Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Swim Stadium were largely funded by 7-Eleven and McDonald’s. The third thing that secured the Games financially also kind of set a precedent for future sporting events – the burgeoning broadcast rights prices.
Since most of these contracts were signed well in advance of the Games, Los Angeles found itself in a position where they could make a better and more financially profitable plan. This resulted in a $200 million profit and the most financially successful Games in history. What’s more, this success renewed interest from other cities for hosting the Games and other future sporting events. The Los Angeles Games also set a precedent on how to run an event and make a profit out of it.
The Los Angeles Games still remains the model on how to run a Sporting event successfully as well as profitably and how to leave a lasting legacy of the Games; The Olympic Committee led by Peter Ueberroth used some of the profits to endow the LA84 Foundation to promote youth sports in Southern California, educate coaches and maintain a sports library. Despite the politically motivated boycott by some Eastern Bloc nations, the Los Angeles Games remain as a positive watermark in the history of the Olympics assembled on a platform of conservative, non extravagant but intelligent spending backed by intelligent corporate partnerships, well planned sponsorship deals and pre sold broadcast rights.

Financial Legacy of the Montreal Olympics

The Olympics are in your town, that’s gotta be great, right. Except, Montreal may not agree with you. You see, 1976 Montreal Olympics was a disaster, in terms of the business of sport. The city was still paying for the event in 2006. Thirty years, thirty years is what it took to pay for the Olympics. Add to that the stunted legacy of the Olympic stadium. You just don’t build a stadium so that the world can be impressed for about a month or so. There needs to be a legacy, what happens to stadium after the event? There’s always a plan, this particular one was to hand it over to the Montreal Expos baseball club but with a dysfunctional retractable roof and the huge capacity of the stadium coupled with low attendances meant that the transition from Olympic venue to a profit making sports facility did not happen.

The other thing that happened around the same time was the political rise of the French speaking Parti Québécois, who made legislations strengthening the status of the French speaking majority of the state; consequently driving away the majority of English speakers away from Quebec. This, in turn led to the economic prominence of Toronto, the capital of Ontario – where most of these people migrated to – at the expense of Montreal and Quebec. This affected the economy and although the Olympics weren’t to be directly blamed for this decline, the financial stress on the city wasn’t helping. Remember, these were times when benefits from sporting events were calculated more on prestige and honour of being the host and less on economic terms.

The Olympic Stadium, nicknamed, “The Big O” in reference to its doughnut shape was soon cheekily being referred to as “The Big Owe”, considering that the city had to pay about $1.6 billion (Canadian, which took them thirty years to pay off. The stadium still doesn’t have a permanent tenant and hosts just some individual games of the Montreal Alouettes the Montreal Impact.

The first Olympics to be financially successful was the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, eight years after Montreal.