Following the breaking news that IOC member Dick Pound has claimed that a postponement of the Olympic Games has now been all but agreed in light of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak;
Conrad Wiacek, Head of Analysis & Consulting at Sportcal, a GlobalData company, offers his view on the postponement of the Olympic Games:
“Up to this point both the IOC and Japanese government have insisted the Games will go ahead as scheduled, with a view to preserving over $10bn worth of global media and sponsorship agreements, but at this stage, it looks like we are waiting for official confirmation that the Summer Olympic Games will be postponed for the first time in peacetime, due to the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic crisis.
“The IOC now has a logistical and commercial headache to contend with. While the organising committee and the IOC may be eager to go ahead, additional external pressures such as interventions from IAAF chief Sebastian Coe and the withdrawl of Canada and Australia seem to have taken the decision out of their hands.
“With previous withdrawals having come at the height of political tensions, with the USA and USSR withdrawing from the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games, respectively, the decisions taken by the Canadian and Australian delegations is unprecedented in the modern commercial Olympic era and will be a key factor behind the IOC and Tokyo Local Organising Committee’s decision to postpone.
“With further withdrawals likely to come and with Great Britain likely to follow the lead of Canada and Australia, commercial plans four years in the making are being hastily rewritten around the world, likely diverting marketing spend if not elsewhere into other projects then certainly into Q3 2021.“ globaldata.com