Is this as bad as I think it sounds?
The Bank of America, after 16 years of sponsoring the U.S. Olympic team, announced today it is ending its support of the USOC. The bank cited a poor return on investment as its primary reason for cutting the cord, according to the Sports Business Journal.
BofA spokesman Joe Goode called the move “an extremely difficult and emotional decision” according to the SBJ.
“It’s not about the economy, it’s not about reducing marketing, it’s not about TARP support,” he added. “But rather, it’s about the insufficient business results we were able to generate.”
Wow. Let’s take a look-see: according to Nielsen, last year’s Summer Games (Remember them? With the thrill of Michael Phelps going for eight golds and the Chinese woman’s gymnastic team age scandal? That’s good TV!) averaged nearly 27.7 million viewers over 17 days. This year’s Super Bowl hit about 98.7 million viewers in one night.
Of course, when you multiply it out, the 17-day viewership of the Olympics last year totaled 469.2 million, but who knows how many of those daily watchers are repeat viewers?
It appears that even with last year’s opening ceremony in Beijing being television’s first 1 billion-member audience, the Olympics are losing their luster. Who’s fault is this? Is the USOC overpricing its product? Or should we blame the Internet? (After all, it always seems to be a good scapegoat for questions like, “Why can’t newspapers make money?” or “Why aren’t people watching TV anymore?”)
Or is this a dumb move by BofA?