Sponsorship

Walking along the South Bank I saw a surprising sight: a man and a woman daring to venture out in broad daylight clad head to toe in Spain’s garish Olympic kit, with not even a blush, writes Carola Long.

For anyone who missed the furore over Spain’s cut price garb here’s why one might have expected them to stuff their red and yellow tracksuits back in their lockers before leaving the Olympic village.

Bosco, the Russian sportswear brand, provided the kits, saving the Spanish government  €1.5m according to Alejandro Blanco, chairman of the Spanish Olympic Committee. Blanco claimed a fiscal victory — given Spain’s ailing economy — but the designs were widely deemed a style defeat. 

A tented village designed to promote the culture of African countries taking part in the Olympics has been forced to close amid reports of financial difficulties.

A person familiar with the Africa Village project, which cost about €3m (£2.4m), said there had been problems paying suppliers of the exhibits, which in particular affected the contractors providing security. 

Just over half-way through there can be little doubt that the 2012 London Olympics has given Brand Britannia a very big boost, at least qualitatively, writes Sir Martin Sorrell.

Arguments may rage over the quantitative benefit. Will the legacy justify the £9bn infrastructure investment? Will consumer and tourist spending be enhanced to the tune of £850m, as Visa, a major Olympic sponsor suggests? Will advertising and marketing spending be boosted beyond the normal and the £750m predicted?

Whatever the relative strengths of these arguments, there is no doubt the intangible benefits have been considerable in many ways so far.

 

James Murdoch holds a UK and a US passport, but even dual nationality is not enough for his patriotic needs when watching cycling, a sport he has loved since his youth.

Murdoch, as chairman of British Sky Broadcastingin 2008, approved the creation of Team Sky, the professional cycling outfit run by Dave Brailsford whose members keep winning Olympic medals. 

Hannah Kuchler

The start of the opening ceremony on July 27 (ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/GettyImages)

The writer of the Olympic opening ceremony has criticised David Cameron for defending Dow Chemical, one of the sponsors of the games, and called on the government to help make the Olympics a space for resolving conflict.

Frank Cottrell Boyce, who worked with director Danny Boyle in creating last Friday’s spectacle, said the project was wrought with moral difficulty. He also criticised another corporate sponsor – Visa – for their Olympic park ”proud to only accept visa” ads - and G4S, the outsourcing company which failed to supply enough security guards for the games. 

 As the world’s eyes turn to London, the city’s street artists have sought out their share of the limelight, writes Conor Sullivan.

An artist who goes by the street name Loretto drew this anti-Olympic piece at Bankside adjacent to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, next to where the torch relay passed on its final lap last week.

The renowned street artist Banksy has also produced some wry observations on the games. One which depicts an Olympic javelin thrower hurling a missile is perhaps a take on the controversial anti-aircraft weaponry that the military has stationed in Bow Quarter, a residential area close to the Olympic Park.

 

At the Rome Games of 1960, the British runner Peter Radford won bronze in the 100m sprint. Radford, now 72, was one of the former British medallists honoured in London’s opening ceremony on Friday night.

Yet while banks of seats have remained empty at many Olympic events on the first weekend of competition, he will not be attending a single event at London 2012. The organisers have not given him a ticket. All he received for participating in the opening ceremony was a free one-day Oystercard to use public transport: while most of the sponsors arrived at the stadium in corporate buses, he came and went on London Underground.

Radford, a former chairman of UK Athletics and now professor of sport at Brunel University, says none of the other British medallists he has spoken to had been given free tickets to the games. “It’s a general policy, as far as I can see,” he says.

 

Gideon Rachman

Unlike my more privileged colleagues, I do not have a press pass. I have been taking part in the spectator marathon – which had been advertised as a grim and gruelling event.

On Saturday I set myself a tough challenge – get to the Excel centre for the boxing. Unlike the main Olympic Park, which is served by several Underground lines, the Excel can only be reached by the Docklands Light Railway. I have always thought of the DLR as a toy-town system of the sort beloved by urban planners, but useless for actually getting around. In the event, however, we whizzed through Docklands and even got seats on the train.

Spectators are advised to get to events two hours early, to get through heavy security checks. But we actually breezed through in minutes. Even the emergency deployment of the military as security guards appears to have added a dimension to the experience. People were actually posing for photos with the soldiers – which I cannot imagine them doing with the average G4S security guard, whose uniforms are rather less fetching.  

Tom Burgis

The Olympic Games has barely begun but already Usain Bolt has been disqualified.

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a Virgin broadband advert featuring the fastest man on Earth impersonating the Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson was misleading. The company has told the authorities it would not be showing the advert again. 

London 2012 supremo Lord Coe opened a can of worms recently with a warning that anyone seeking to enter an Olympic venue wearing a Pepsi t-shirt could be turned away on the grounds that rival Coca Cola is the games’ official sponsor.

But can an advert for an egg-and-spoon race contravene the Olympics’ strict rules on branding and constitute ambush marketing? Yes, according to London’s Olympic organising committee (Locog).