As athletes rear up to compete head-to-head, the competition between brands is just as fierce. The Olympics in Sochi are backed by “top sponsors” and partners ,which include: Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonalds, Visa, Samsung, and Omega.
Round 1: Samsung vs. Apple
Samsung has provided all athletes with a Galaxy Note 3 to take photos and videos during the opening ceremony. Teams of volunteers will inspect the athletes upon arrival to the stadium to ensure other electronic brands aren’t brought in. This will deter athletes from using iPhones, and prevent Apple’s exposure to millions of spectators. If a non-partner brand is spotted in an athlete’s possession, its logo will be covered up prior to entering the stadium.
Round 2: McDonalds vs. Burger King
McDonalds restaurants set up shop in a couple different places in Sochi. They are primarily seen inside the Olympic Village where the athletes living quarters for the next few weeks. But the fast-food chain also has claim over press boxes and press areas for journalists, photographers, and other members of the media to consume. As for Burger King, it cannot be within a certain radius of a McDonalds venue.
Round 3: Visa vs. Mastercard
All event tickets and official Sochi 2014 souvenirs must be purchased with Visa. By making itself an official sponsor, Visa is bypassing all other major credit card brands. Take it from someone who waited in a massive line at a department store during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, tried to pay with a Mastercard but failed, and walked away with a Visa emblazoned carry bag (in other words, a walking Visa advertisement).
Round 4: Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi
Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Relay” is a campaign that parallels the torch relay across Russia leading up to the final torch lighting during the opening ceremonies of the Sochi winter games. Additionally, Coca-Cola (and its products) is the official non-alcoholic beverage for purchase in all olympic arenas and venues. Sorry Pepsi.