Disney is considering positioning itself as a major Olympics sponsor in order to boost its bid for rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics.
Amid reports that Disney may become a big-time licensing partner to the International Olympic Committee, the company’s ESPN network said yesterday during a presentation to advertisers that it is very serious about making a bid for the games, according to the New York Post. Disney’s main competitor, Comcast’s NBCU, has aired all Summer Olympics Games since 1988, and every Winter Olympics since 2002. ABC last aired the games in the winter of ’88.
General Electric’s NBC added a $200 million sponsorship to its $2 billion bid for the 2010 and 2012 games, and reportedly sold $700 million in GE products as a result. Similarly, Disney could use Olympics tie-ins to market its own vacation and travel business—it already has theme parks in the U.S., Tokyo and Paris, and is building one in Shanghai—and to attract advertisers to its networks, including ABC, ESPN, and the Disney Channel.
Disney and NBCU are expected to present their bids to the IOC next month.