Games Monitor

Skip to main content.

Let the Bejing Olympics of Global Re-branding and Marketing begin!

Let the Bejing Olympics of Global Re-branding and Marketing begin!

It is with fascinated disbelief that I watch the latest Five Ring Circus begin. The usual smog of China's old Imperial capital is the subject of increasingly draconian measures for its abatement to assist the athletes and the tourists shopping to commence.

This grand charade of appearances, striving performances and global status games is afoot. This circus maximus of military callisthenics is back on the telly. Who can afford to watch anything other than America's National Broadcasting Company ad-stuffed 'edited highlights'?

I woke up the other morning with the World Service on, to hear a swimmer complaining that the IOC had sold the opportunity for their best performances, which come in the evening of an athletes day, to NBC as part of a $3.5bn deal. To maximise their American peak evening show ad sales in the 'downturn' NBC forced China's, Australia's and Europe's champion swimmers to work against nature and produce their best performances in the morning of Beijing's day.

The International Olympic Committee have been forced by hordes of journalists arriving for this heaving festival of accelerating globalised discontents to attempt to sanitise it of 'politics'. The journalists in their turn will hang their favourite complaints onto anniversary pegs, thus throwing the politics of sport into sharp relief. The Beijing front lines are about finding the 'Protest Parks', the million plus displaced residents, the dissident bloggers, the smog, the doping athletes , the hottest shopping opportunities, the steel fists in plain clothes, the terrorists and so on. With more journalists hacking away than there are athletes, misunderstandings and misrepresentation cannot be far behind.

| | | | | |