Olympic sponsors demand postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to accommodate more spectators

Some of the biggest Japanese sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics want the organizers to postpone the Olympics for a few months so that more spectators can attend.

The proposal has been privately made in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. This request follows growing frustration among some of the 47 Japanese companies that have paid more than $ 3 billion to support the Olympics. Most sponsors A historic sporting event.

“I don’t think this proposal will have a strong impact on the organizers. Start July 24“A senior executive behind a company said.

“But from our point of view, it makes much more sense to host the Olympics when there are many vaccinated people, the weather is cool and perhaps there is little public opposition.”

The spread of Covid-19 and the slow spread of vaccines have frustrated the public, and polls show that 80% of Japanese want to stop or postpone the Olympics.

Total number of people who received at least once Vaccination shot Japan has a population of 14 million, or more than 11% of the population.

Sponsors were informed by the Japanese Olympic Committee in April that an important decision on whether to allow spectators to watch the event live would probably not be made until the last moment of June 24th.

Many companies have run large-scale marketing campaigns centered on ticket gifts and venue promotions. Banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and other major industrial sponsors planned to use the event for corporate entertainment.

The two attendees decided that the money spent on sponsorship of the Olympics was virtually “worthless” for some companies, but the postponement allowed spectators to gather and move more around the venue. He said he decided that if he could, he would be able to regain some value.

As preparations for the tournament entered the final 50 days, a last-minute postponement proposal was made until late September or October.

A senior executive at one sponsor said the postponement proposal had practical benefits. He said the company wouldn’t invest any more in the project, but would consider paying an additional sponsorship fee if the Olympics were held later that year.

“If the Olympics start a few months later, far more parts of the country will be vaccinated, less uncertain and will definitely consider investing more money as sponsors.” He said.

He added that there was internal debate about the risks of linking the brand to an event that Japanese Covid doctor Shigeru Omi said was “unusual” to be held this week in the current environment. Was.

“Japan should make every effort to ensure that the Olympics are held on time, and the government should promote the spread of vaccines, but a few months,” said the head of another Japanese company that supported the bid for the Olympics in Tokyo. Delay Plan B must also be prepared. ”

The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has not responded to requests for comment.

There is a great deal of controversy in the business community over whether or not to host the Olympics in this country. Among the loudest opponents are SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive officer of the e-commerce group Rakuten Group.

But even among sponsors, businesses are in a difficult position due to strong public opposition, making it difficult to promote the event.

Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda, a global Olympic sponsor, complained Thursday about the slow progress in curbing Covid-19 Japan.

“This is a serious emergency … it requires crisis management,” said Toyota. “In reality, we are still in an era of anxiety and dissatisfaction.”

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Olympic sponsors demand postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to accommodate more spectators

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