The other night I was skimming through channels and caught some of the Olympics [I know I shouldn’t admit this, but for the most part, I’m not a fan of any Olympic sport except curling. Curling rocks. No pun intended. Well, yes, actually it was.]
Anyway, the interesting thing about the Olympics was not the athletes, the costumes, the pageantry or even the dedication to excellence shown by the people from all over the world who come together to compete. What I find most interesting is the sponsorship. Let’s face it, the Olympics is big business and companies shell out a lot of dough not only for advertising spots but to be able to call themselves a ‘sponsor’ of the Olympics.
I thought the commercial for McDonald’s was most intriguing. McDonald’s, they tell us, is an official food/eating place of the Olympics. Well, yeah. You have to figure with McDonald’s restaurants all over the world, the people who come to see the Olympics will feel very much at home under the Golden Arches…but I had to ask myself, would a dedicated aspiring professional athlete [yes, Olympians are supposed to be amateurs – but aren’t they competing for world wide recognition that could land them sponsorships of their own?] be wise to chow down on a Big Mac and Fries?
Apparently I’m not the only one flummoxed by this. Blogger Brett Blumenthal at Sheer Balance asked the same question and answered it more eloquently than I.
At a time when health and wellness are such a hot button issue, you would think the Olympics might want to take the opportunity to promote food that is actually healthy. Of course I guess that would be hard to do with a lot less money in their pockets.
If you’re a fan of the Olympics, does it bother you to see McDonald’s ads during Olympic broadcasts? Do you feel the message is hypocritical or worse, damaging to aspiring athletes who may get the idea that their idols are sitting down to McNuggets and fries before competing and still managing to win gold?