Postponement of Tokyo Olympics to have limited impact on Beijing 2022 marketing: analysts

By Lu Wenao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/31 17:28:41

A countdown clock has been restarted to show the number of days till the Tokyo Olympic Games outside a subway station in Tokyo on Tuesday. The postponed 2020 Olympics will open on July 23, 2021, organizers said Monday. Photo: AFP

The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for a year has raised concerns over a reduced marketing period for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, but analysts believe the impact will be limited.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, whose sponsorship revenue has exceeded $3.1 billion, has been rescheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shortening the Olympic marketing period for the Beijing Winter Olympics - to be held in February 2022 - by a year. 

Ren Hai, a professor at the Olympic Research Center of the Beijing Sports University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the impact on Winter Olympics marketing will be limited.

"There will of course be an impact, but I think the impact will be limited, as the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics are different in terms of sports and disciplines," Ren said. "Historically, the two different Olympics were hosted very close together."

Ren was referring to the period from 1924 to 1992, when both the Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same year.

The Beijing 2022 organizing committee made no comment on the issue when reached by the Global Times on Tuesday. 

In a report by Xinhua News Agency on March 26, an unnamed spokesperson from the Beijing 2022 organizing committee said it "will carefully evaluate the impact of the delay of the Tokyo Olympics on the Beijing Winter Olympics."

He Wenyi, executive director of the China Institute for Sports Value, Peking University, said the reason for the limited impact on Winter Olympics marketing is that China has relatively few winter sports stars.

"We don't have so many winter sports stars like we do in the Summer Olympics," He told the Global Times. "Stars are the core of sports marketing."

China has won 224 gold medals in the Summer Olympics since 1980, compared with only 13 champions in the Winter Games. The last Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, saw China bag only one gold medal, in short track speed skating. 

Summer Olympics sports are widely popular in China while winter sports are yet to enjoy the same kind of popularity, though the country has vowed to get 300 million people to participate in winter sports by the year 2022, he noted. 

"But the promotional events of Beijing 2022 are unlikely to be hugely affected, as the novel coronavirus epidemic is under control in China," he said, adding the virus spread might lead to a change in how sports sponsorship is done worldwide.

The Tokyo Olympics postponement has already had an impact on other sports activities to be held in China, as the 2021 Summer World University Games has had to be delayed for two days from August 16-27 to August 18-29 next year. The new date is only 10 days after the end of the newly rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

The quadrennial National Games, scheduled to be held in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province in August 2021, is also likely to be postponed, as the event is seen as an opportunity to find the new generation of China's elite athletes for the next Olympics. 

Posted in: OLYMPICS

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