Intel Enters the Olympics as McDonald’s Is Leaving
If the Olympics provide an unequaled opportunity for companies to showcase their products to a global audience, why would a sponsor drop out? Intel’s (INTC) move to sponsor the next several Olympic Games seems to focus on a global platform to publicize its new technologies and products.
For a company that has endured weak sales in its core Client Computing Group, it would be difficult for Intel to pass up a publicity opportunity like the Olympics. The company plans to use the Olympics to showcase its innovations around virtual reality, drones, and 360-degree video systems.
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Waning interest in the Olympics
Intel is entering Olympic sponsorship at a moment when previous Olympics partner McDonald’s (MCD) is exiting the scene. McDonald’s does not plan to sponsor the Olympics after the 2018 Olympic Games. The fast-food chain has been an Olympics sponsor since 1976.
It is not just McDonald’s exit that casts a shadow of concern on the Olympics. Fewer cities submitted bids to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, and NBC registered a 35% decline in its Olympics viewership (QQQ) for the 2016 Olympic opening ceremonies compared to 2012.
Olympics need a spark
Waning fan interest could be the reason long-time partners are bowing out of Olympics sponsorships to focus on other opportunities. Intel could use this global platform to showcase its technology, allowing it to seek an edge against rivals like Qualcomm (QCOM) and Micron (MU). Perhaps Intel, with its technological innovations, could provide the spark to drive interest in the Olympics in this digital age.