Coca-Cola chief marketer Joe Tripodi, "Without the sponsors, there’s no Olympic Games."
One of the things that I've been looking forward to for a while is the Olympic Games taking place this year in my home country. Writing this as a thirty four year old I realise that barring some dramatic improvements in medical science I am not going to see another take place in the UK.
Despite this interest I haven't even tried to get tickets for any events. Tickets + travel + accommodation + expenses for London are excessive even at the best of times but I will enjoy it on TV. Over the weekend the Olympic torch relay made its way through Manchester. The torch passed by just five minutes walk from my apartment. My wife and I went to check it out. There was a big crowd for the section I went to and people were clearly enjoying themselves.
Before the torch ambled down Corporation Street (a most delicious irony) we were greeted by a cavalcade of sponsors. The convoy was a rolling swamp of commercialism and capitalism so brazen it bordered on pornography. Vehicles containing (presumably) employees bizarrely waving to the crowd as if they were there on merit. Perhaps this is a touch harsh but there was definitely too much jam on the bread. There have been some truly touching stories over the last few weeks about those who have carried the torch on the way but this left a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder what the real legacy of these games will be or even if we will have one that isn't more product placement.