Vancouver's Olympic ad drought

Where's all the ad money gone for the Winter Games?

The Olympics are normally an easy sell for companies looking to advertise their brand and stick the five rings on their products. The potential audience is massive. The Beijing Olympics, for instance, lured nearly five billion TV viewers (about 70 per cent of the world population). But things have not been easy for the Vancouver Games, which are still struggling to land big advertisers just months before the opening ceremony. Names like GM and Home Depot have already dropped out as sponsors of the U.S. team. The recession is largely to blame. But experts say there are other challenges looming, like the fact that much-coveted younger viewers are straying from TV and the Winter Games in favour of the web and extreme sports featured in the X Games. One sports marketing expert suggests the IOC itself is largely to blame for having taken major sponsors for granted in past Olympics.