BMW Group Confirms Summer Olympics Buy

NBC Universal has lined up a second major automotive sponsor to support its coverage of the upcoming Summer Olympics jubilee, signing BMW Group as the exclusive foreign-brand carmaker of the 2012 London Games.

While financial terms were not disclosed, the agreement marks the first time that NBCU has granted foreign-automotive exclusivity for its Olympics package. Despite the strength of the auto market, NBCU will limit sponsorship opportunities to just two automakers; earlier this week, the media company announced it had closed a deal making General Motors the exclusive stateside car client of the London Games.

BMW’s Olympic ads will begin airing during the July 27, 2012, opening ceremonies. The buy includes time across all NBCU networks and in all dayparts, with an emphasis on popular swimming and track and field events. In addition to its national positioning, BMW will appear in local spots in its top 11 sales DMAs in the U.S.
The buy was steered by UM, BMW’s media agency of record.
In a sense, the BMW announcement wasn’t unexpected. Last July, the company cut a deal estimated at around $25 million to become the official automotive partner of the United States Olympic Committee through 2016.

“The Olympic Games represent the highest level of athletic competition and showcase the world’s best athletes at their peak performance,” said Trudy Hardy, manager, BMW marketing communications and consumer events. “As a company focused on the development of high-performance vehicles and one that has a long history of dedication to competitive sport, we are proud to strengthen our connection to the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Olympic movement and Team USA.”

BMW’s last Olympics sponsorship was in support of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. GM and Nissan were also partners of that Olympics showcase; each spent a reported $13.5 million on their respective packages.
For its part, GM is using the Summer Games as a platform to promote its Chevrolet and Cadillac brands. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, GM spent $41.5 million on TV inventory, per Kantar Media.