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2008 Beijing Olympics: a marketing bonanza

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Oct 16,2006
It is the world’s greatest stage for international sports and global awareness ― the Olympic Games. When Beijing hosts China’s first Olympics in the summer of 2008, the event will be much more than a gathering of the world’s greatest athletes vying to see their four years of work bear fruit. The Summer Games represent a potential gold mine for businesses from around the world. The three themes of the Beijing Olympics are “Green Olympics,” “High-tech Olympics” and “People’s Olympics.” Marketing experts no doubt see a trifecta, a golden opportunity to link their advertising to any or all of the themes and cash in. China is slated to invest nearly $9 billion to improve the nation’s environment and infrastructure. It is setting up air quality monitoring stations, planting trees in Beijing and establishing forest shelters to better control sandstorms. And China wants to portray the image of a tech-savvy nation with the 2008 Olympics. Its Ministry of Science and Technology has said $157 million in government funds and $217 million of corporate investment have been channeled into nearly 450 science and technology projects prepared for the Olympics. Against this backdrop, what can Korean companies do to capitalize on the Olympics? First, marketing campaigns focused on environmental friendliness would be a good start. Products such as hybrid vehicles, solar power systems and recycling facilities will get premium global exposure during the Beijing Games. Prudent marketers were scrambling behind the scenes right after the Games were awarded to Beijing. For example, according to the Korea International Trade Association, less than half of 11,000 tons of daily waste in Beijing is processed. China plans to build waste disposal sites, as well as waste-heated power plants in Beijing. The waste scenario was viewed as a business opportunity for one firm. Golden State Holding Group Corp., a United States firm, set up a joint venture to build a waste-heat power generator in Ciaoyang district in Beijing. It will be the first of its kind in Beijing. In addition, Korean technology firms may take part in science and technology projects established by the Chinese government. The nation’s information tech clusters will be major participants. Korean companies, such as official Olympic sponsor Samsung Electronics, will likely be looking for ways to establish alliances with local companies. Demand for digital devices should soar. The Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency estimates that the CCTV market will be $1 billion. Among Korean companies operating in China are Samsung Electronics, Picaso Info Communications Co. and Kodicom Co. by Yoo Jee-ho


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