As we know, the Summer Olympics has evolved into far more than a 19-day buffet of sporting events. In the last 80 years the games have developed into a mega political conflagration every four years. More recently they’ve also become a global television extravaganza with an audience of more than 3.6 billion. That has translated into more than $4 billion in TV rights flowing to the International Olympic Committee. When the rules shifted to allow the competing athletes to include professionals, the media spotlight shone even brighter. Somewhere along the way brands got involved in the tumult, some as sponsors. Rio’s 11 global sponsors have a combined market value of more than $1.5 trillion, says Bloomberg. This infusion of money has transformed a competition between mostly obscure amateurs into very big business [see table on page 6]. Rio will be the richest Olympics by a good margin. A portion of that activity has made its way to social media.
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