Ghost games in Tokyo: companies turn away from the Olympics

Ghost games in Tokyo
Companies are turning away from the Olympics

There is one main argument against the Olympic Games: the cost. And what about the Olympics without spectators? The influential boss of the Japanese whiskey giant Suntory, Niinami, criticizes the “enormous losses” in ghost games and asks the question of meaning. He makes serious accusations against the government.

The answer to the question about the profitability of the Olympic Games has probably never been as devastating as this year: At least from the point of view of profitability, the spectacle in Japan, which this time has to take place without spectators due to the pandemic, simply makes no sense. One of the most prominent business leaders in Japan agrees.

For Takeshi Niinami, head of the Japanese whiskey manufacturer Suntory, the bill no longer works. “The economic losses will be enormous,” he told CNN. According to his estimate, Japanese companies could have achieved a sales increase of around ten percent if viewers had been allowed. Suntory had originally considered becoming an Olympic sponsor, but decided against it because it would have been “too expensive”. It is now time to ask the question of the value of the Olympic Games, said the head of the long-established Tokyo-based company. “I think the Olympics have lost commercial value.”

As the economic advisor to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Niinami enjoys a reputation in the Japanese business community. He, of all people, is not sparing with criticism of the government: “I don’t know why the games aren’t [erneut]”He referred to Japan’s hesitant vaccination campaign and the ongoing heat wave in Tokyo. The Games should have been postponed for at least two months, Niinami said. And he is not alone: ​​Almost 80 percent of the Japanese say the Olympic Games will not take place should, “CNN” quoted a poll published last week by Ipsos Mori.

A blow to the office

Because the corona virus is rampant again in the country, Tokyo excluded viewers at the beginning of the month. The news came as a heavy blow to companies that had sensed big business from higher consumer spending. More than 60 Japanese companies spent a record $ 3 billion on this year’s Olympics – they now have to worry about their return on investment. Many companies are turning away from the event: Toyota, for example, one of the largest sponsors of the Games, decided this week not to publish advertisements related to the Olympics in Japan, instead it would only run “normal” commercials. The reason: The Games are so unpopular among the Japanese population that companies fear a loss of image through advertising for the Olympics.

But not only companies have miscalculated. The Japanese capital had expected audience revenues of around 815 million dollars through the sporting event. These are also likely to melt down to almost zero, even if some viewers are permitted at venues outside the megacity.

The organizers of the Tokyo Summer Olympics are also facing economic disaster. According to insiders, they must fear that they will largely remain seated on the loss of income due to the ban on spectators in the stadiums. The local organizing committee has already used up most of the existing insurance policies for the costs of the postponement by one year to 2021, it was said most recently.