Brands’ Tactics Burnish and Tarnish Their Reps at Summer Olympics

The Olympics is not for the faint of heart. Never mind the athletes. Being a spectator or a sponsor requires as much grit and fortitude. I know. I just got back from watching my cousin, Caleb Paine, compete on the U.S. Sailing Team. For years, I observed the Olympics from the comfort of my living room, watching the celebration of human spirit and athleticism play out against what I assumed was a perfectly orchestrated spectacle, replete with major brands and a lot of media coverage. It’s not like that at all.

The media are carefully housed in skyboxes, the athletes in their village. The rest schlep around the streets of Rio. I fantasized about sitting comfortably in a shiny, new stadium, eating local food and sipping a sugary Caipirinha.

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