It’s happening… 10,500 athletes from 204 nations competing in 26 sports across 39 disciplines for 302 gold medals in London’s Olympic Games.

There have been 8.8million tickets sold but most of us will be watching from our couch. TV rights were sold for the first time in Tokyo 1964 at $1.2million and in 2012 broadcast revenue has risen to a staggering $3.9billion! An advertisers dream…

The first sponsorship/licensing deals happened in 1912 when 10 Swedish companies were granted permission to purchase the sole rights to sell memorabilia and take photographs during the Olympic Games in 1912 in Stockholm. This grew in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the Los Angeles Olympic organising committee decided to pursue large sponsorships. It came after the financial disaster of the 1976 Montreal Games, where there were 628 official partners and no one could really see any real benefit or return on investment.

In 2012 there are eleven global “top-tier” sponsors, each paying around $100 million, and 44 other sponsors. These companies are the only ones that can display the London 2012 logo, or any Olympic branding.

The brand police (yes they exist!) have clamped down and fined businesses up to $30,000 that use pictures of the Olympic rings and words that include “Olympics,” “2012,” “medals,” “gold,” and even “London.” And no doubt it needs protecting as the Olympic brand (worth $47.5 billion) is rated the second most valuable brand in the world, just falling behind Apple ($70.6 billion).

Fast food giant McDonald’s has opened their largest restaurant with 1,500 seats in the Olympic Park, serving the Olympic drink of choice… Coca-Cola (both major sponsors)

But the one brand I am sure everyone will remember from these Games is Samsung, it’s everywhere you look!

Now, I hope I don’t get fined for saying the word Olympic too much!!