Are the Beijing Olympics headed for an opening ceremony marketing problem? Today’s Wall Street Journal raises the specter of athletes wearing masks to the opening ceremony and causing China to lose face. Other blogs and sources are starting to pick up on this.
What if 10 or 20% of the athletes in the opening ceremony parade walked in wearing face masks to protect themselves from the pollution and, ultimately, their chance at an Olympic medal? What does that say about the Chinese government? Do you want that imagery tied to your brand, after paying tens or hundreds of millions to be the official X of the Games?
Do you have a contingency plan in place? What will you say when images of mask-clad athletes in the murky Beijing air, in front of your expensive banner, are transmitted to the world?