By Ben Haber
As the Olympic Games kickoff tomorrow in Beijing, the best athletes around the world will be competing for gold, silver, and bronze medals in their respective events.
While you’re on the couch, no doubt witnessing some of the greatest athletic performances of the year, or ever, you’ll also be watching some other competitions coming straight into your living room.
Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain will be competing for your vote – and spending a combine $11 million in the process. NBC sure is lucky that the Olympics fall during the same time as campaign season!
Meanwhile, Olympic sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Adidas, and McDonalds (powering Olympic athletes? Suuuuuure) are giddy at the sight of having an attentive television audience and the ability to market their products to Asia. These types of ‘global sponsors’ have paid an average of $72 million each, but one study found that only 15 percent of 1,500 Chinese city dwellers could name at least two of the 12 global sponsors.
So while you’re watching some of the world’s greatest athletes over the next couple weeks, try not to think about the companies and politicians competing for your money and votes – just enjoy the moments that the summer Olympics bring us ever 4 years.