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Corporate sponsorship

Samsung’s Olympic goodie bag goes viral among athletes

Samsung has sponsored the Olympics since 1988 and started giving out its Galaxy smartphones to athletes from 2014

By Jul 27, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Tokyo 2020 Athlete Phone is included in the company’s gift bag for the athletes.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Tokyo 2020 Athlete Phone is included in the company’s gift bag for the athletes.

Samsung Electronics Co.’s marketing efforts at the Tokyo Olympic Games have received a wide welcome from the athletes participating at the event.

Samsung’s gift bag for the Games, handed out to 17,000 athletes competing in the Olympics and Paralympics, has gone viral in the online community.

The British canoe athlete Bradley Forbes-Cryans fueled the hype over the Galaxy gadgets by showing the Olympic-branded Samsung Galaxy S21 phone on his TikTok account, along with the Samsung Galaxy earbuds with a separate white case and a commemorative pen.

Photo captures from Forbes-Cryans’ TikTok clip unwrapping the gifts from Samsung.
Photo captures from Forbes-Cryans’ TikTok clip unwrapping the gifts from Samsung.

The short clip that Forbes-Cryans uploaded on social media garnered about 4.4 million views and more than 518,000 likes. Other athletes including Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua, Britain’s Benjamin Whittaker and Russia’s Yaroslav Podlesnykh also uploaded clips sharing the Samsung goods on their social media.

Samsung will sponsor the Olympic Games at least until 2028. 
Samsung will sponsor the Olympic Games at least until 2028. 

Samsung has been a corporate sponsor of the Games since the 1988 Olympics held in Seoul, where it started as a local partner. Samsung, which became the event’s worldwide partner from the 1998 Winter Olympics held in Japan, will continue its sponsorship at least until the 2028 Olympics to be held in LA.

Samsung started giving out smartphones from the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Russia.
Samsung started giving out smartphones from the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Russia.

Samsung started giving out its world-class Galaxy smartphones to the participating Olympians since the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, and to the Paralympians as well from the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, Korea.

French athletes holding Galaxy Note 8 Pyeongchang 2018 Limited Edition at the 2018 Olympics. 
French athletes holding Galaxy Note 8 Pyeongchang 2018 Limited Edition at the 2018 Olympics. 

Sources say that Samsung spent about 24 billion won ($21 million) on the goodie bags for Tokyo Olympics this year.

As the Olympics is being held without spectators this year due to COVID-19, Samsung is focusing on contactless marketing initiatives such as the athlete gift bags. Another example includes the Galaxy Watch marketing with South Korea’s top volleyball player Kim Yeon-koung.

Kim, one of the 11 global brand ambassadors of Samsung Galaxy, was caught wearing the Galaxy Watch 4, which has not been launched to the public yet, at the Incheon Airport on her way to Tokyo.

“Unlike the previous Olympics, the athletes have much more free time at Tokyo 2020, allowing them to pay more attention to what’s inside the gift bags presented by the official sponsors,” said a Korean sports official.

Write to Sung-soo Bae at baebae@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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