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Olympics Winners and Losers


By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

August 10, 2012

The 2012 Summer Olympics officially are in the books, and the consensus, at least immediate following the games, is overwhelmingly positive. Here are two of my biggest winners and losers from London.

My first winner is gold-medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas. Douglas, poised to be the biggest marketing winner from the Olympics, reportedly has endorsement offers from several companies, including some in the Fortune 100. She could expect to earn up to $12 million over the next four years. Also a big winner is NBC/Comcast. Despite complaints about being on tape delay, NBC averaged more than 30 million viewers per night in primetime and generated a network record $1.2 billion in ad sales.

Arguably the biggest disappointment of the London Olympics was the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville. The awkward, one-eyed, alien-looking blobs were called the worst mascots in Olympics history, with dolls being sold for up to 80% off just a week into the games. My other loser is the Olympic ticketing process. The IOC had an embarrassing number of vacant VIP seats, meaning more than a few national Olympic committees, international federations and sponsors failed to show up. Rio 2016’s CEO publicly stated he’s already looking for ways to avoid a similar problem.

Like most Olympics, we won’t know how truly successful these were for several years. Hopefully, economic impact figures are strong, taxpayer debt is minimal, and the games “Inspire a Generation.” But for now, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 have a tough act to follow.




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Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
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Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
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