These Winter Olympics in Beijing are dangerous for large sponsors trying to keep silent about China’s human rights abuses records and protect the $ 1 billion paid to the International Olympic Committee.
This number could reach 2 billion this year. Sponsors include well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Visa, Toyota, Airbnb and Panasonic.RELATED
The IOC’s most important sponsors were between rocks and difficult places due to a US-led diplomatic boycott, an economic powerhouse represented by China with a population of 1.4 billion, and the threat of retaliation from the Beijing government.
China participated in the complete boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Mark Conrad, a professor of sports law and ethics in the Faculty of Sports, said, “Sponsors try to move with narrow margins to get maximum exposure, but they are not considered too close to the actions of the Chinese government. I will do it. ” e-mail. Gaberi Business Administration from Fordham University.
The IOC has fueled tensions by returning to a country where human rights abuses were recorded before the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Human rights abuses against Muslim Uighurs and other minorities contradict the principles of the Olympic Charter. The document states that “sports are placed for the harmonious progress of mankind with the aim of promoting a peaceful society involved in the maintenance of human dignity.”
The Associated Press contacted most Olympic sponsors, but they commented that they were mostly silent about their plans or that the focus was on athletes. One of the responding sponsors, financial services company Allianz, supported the convention’s ideals by saying, “We are in constant contact with the IOC.”
The general attitude of those who contacted the sponsors, were not allowed to speak, and were asked not to reveal their identities, especially those who are focused outside the Chinese market, did not mention Beijing, He said it was to act very carefully.
Dae Hee Kawk, Director of the University of Michigan Sports Marketing Center, said: “They can potentially lose their business.”
They are worried about the possibility of retaliation. The NBA experienced it first-hand in 2019, when the then general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, supported the anti-democratic movement in Hong Kong through Twitter. Last month, Olympic sponsor Intel apologized after posting a letter on its website asking suppliers to avoid supply from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Sponsors tend to be saturated with advertising in the months leading up to the Olympic event. The pandemic has reduced activity as the profitable hospitality package has been cancelled.
“The silence of the sponsor is more deafening than any statement,” wrote Professor Fordham Conrad.
The Olympic Games will then be held in Paris in the summer, followed by Cortina d’Ampezzo in Milan and Italy in the winter, followed by Los Angeles. The IOC also announced Brisbane in Australia in the summer of 2032. Sapporo, Japan is a candidate for the 2030 Winter Olympics.
IOC President Thomas Bach argued that the Olympics must be “politically neutral.” But usually this is not the case. Four years ago, at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Bach promoted the inter-Korean summit.
Last year, the UN General Assembly passed an Olympic truce resolution at the consensus of 193 member states, of which 173 co-sponsored the resolution.
Bach refused to condemn genocide’s suspicions or comment on China’s human rights. He rarely mentions Uighurs by name.
“We are completely focused on athletes,” Bach said. “We provide them with the ability to participate and with the support of their own government. The rest is politics,” he said.