London’s summer Olympics between business and magic

Gymnast Jonathan Horton and model Karlie Kloss in Vera Wang (Vogue, June 2012)

From the obvious advertising opps such as creating the presentation outfits for the participating athlets, this year’s summer Olympics in London have lit the flame for major luxury brands which are seeking maximum exposure through the most diverse awareness tools. Ralph Lauren, Armani and Prada are just some of the luxury brands creating outfits for the national teams, Ralph Lauren for the US and Armani, Prada for Italy. There are also

Armani has already reached a step further by creating an advertising clip which it labelled as a manifesto for the olympics for its EA 7 sports line. Already the house of Armani claims the London Olympics will be the most stylish games ever.

Stella McCartney collaborated with Adidas on Great Britain’s Olympic uniforms, which feature a contemporary take on the British flag. “When I talked to the athletes I asked them: ‘Do you feel different when you look good, do you think it enhances your performance?’ and they all said ‘yes,’” the designer told the BBC."

Bosco di Ciliegi, the owner of GUM luxury department store on Moscow’s Red Square is the official apparel provider of the Russian Olympic team. The company’s Bosco Sport brand last week opened its first U.K.-based outlet at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center on one of the main thoroughfares accessing London’s Olympic Park. It’s the retailer’s 65th own-brand store, and the first outside of Russia or Ukraine.

Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega is serving as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games for the 25th time in London, this summer and has extended its agreement with the International Olympic Committee through 2020. Omega is also an individual supporter of national Olympics teams such as Australia.

This month’s US Vogue edition features an ample picture story shot by Annie Leibovitz, with US athlets sporting creations by famous American designers. Probably the most striking picture is the association of gymnast Jonathon Horton with Model Karlie Kloss, wearing an exquisit Vera Wang dress.

With luxury brands overshadowed by main sposors such as McDonald’s and Visa, what are their realistic expectations? The luxury brands which have strategically invested in online communications, especially through clips as well as testimonials are likely to reap the benefits, with limited editions of products likely to sell out not only at flagship stores in London but also internationally. 

With London as one of the major international luxury retail hubs, luxury brands can truly beneft from very targetted communications, the association with the Olympics being a matter of lifestyle.

Oliver Petcu