Value of the Olympic Seasons

Although the Olympics, regardless of the year or location, create a huge stir in both sports and business, it is apparent that the Summer Games and the athletes that compete in them are the clear bread winners.

The Summer Olympics not only have a longer history, more sports and more recognizable athletes than the Winter Games, according to a recent Forbes article, they also have a lot more value.  Coming in second on the list of the worlds top sports events, the Summer Olympics are valued at $230 million dollars in comparison to the $93 million dollar value of the Winter Olympics.

Besides Forbes offering these measured values for the Olympic Games, a recent Sports Biz article on MSNBC.com offered some insight into the value gap between summer and winter.  Using examples of sponsorship dollars for summer athletes and how their likeness is being used even in Winter Olympic ads (e.g. Michael Phelps), the article illustrates how much the Summer Olympics has a greater draw, with better paid athletes, more competitions and higher visibility.

MSNBC cites viewership ratings and audience numbers as a primary example of what the article identifies as a “comparative lack of exposure” between the two games.  The last Winter Olympics held in Torino had the lowest ratings for any winter games, trailing the viewership of the Bejing Summer Games by 7.4 million (both broadcast over a 17 day schedule).

The article raises all valid points when comparing the two events; however there may be another factor in play.  While most people consider the Winter and Summer Olympics to be two years apart, in actuality, the summer games are competed 2.5 years after the winter games, while the winter games are competed only 1.5 years after the summer games.

Sure the Summer games have had it’s fair share of super stars, Michael Phelps being a record-breaking (in all senses) example, but exposure and stars may not be the only reasons the summer games are more profitable for sponsors.  It may also be the longer you have to wait, the more you appreciate what you experience.

Check out the MSNBC article here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35085223/ns/business-sports_biz/

And for the Forbes Sports Values:

http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/03/most-powerful-sports-names-tiger-woods-nike-cmo-network-sports-brands_slide_14.html

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