Olympic sponsors call for the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to allow more spectators

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Some of the biggest Japanese sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics hope that organizers will postpone the Olympics for a few months to allow more spectators to participate.

According to people familiar with the matter, the proposal was made privately in recent weeks.The request was made after 47 Japanese companies, some of which jointly paid more than US$3 billion to support the Olympic Games, became increasingly frustrated, which made it a Most sponsored Sports events in history.

“I don’t think this proposal will have a strong impact on the organizers because they seem to be totally determined Start on July 24,” said a senior executive of an enterprise supporter.

“But from our point of view, it makes more sense to host the Olympics when more people are vaccinated, the weather is cooler, and public opposition may be lower.”

The Covid-19 epidemic and the slow launch of the vaccine have frustrated the public. Opinion polls show that as many as 80% of Japanese want the Olympics to be cancelled or postponed.

The total number of people who have received at least once vaccination The population of Japan has exceeded 14 million, accounting for 11% of the total population.

The Japanese Olympic Committee told its sponsors in April that the key decision on whether to allow spectators to watch the event will not be made until the last minute, which may be June 24.

Many companies have carried out a large number of marketing activities around the venue’s ticket gifts and promotional activities. Banks, brokerages, insurance companies, and other large industrial sponsors have planned to use these events for corporate entertainment.

Two people attending the conference said that some companies believe that the money spent on Olympic sponsorship is actually “worthless”, but if spectators and more activities around the venue are allowed, the postponement will restore some value to them.

When the preparations for the Olympics entered the last 50 days, some people suggested that the last minute should be postponed to late September or October.

A senior executive of the sponsor stated that the extension proposal brings tangible benefits. He said that the company will not invest more funds for the project, but if the Olympic Games are held later this year, the company will consider paying additional sponsorship fees.

“If the Olympics starts in a few months, more areas in this country will be vaccinated, and uncertainty will decrease. Of course we will consider investing more money as a sponsor,” he said.

He added that his company has had an internal debate on the risk of linking its brand to events that Shigeru Omi, a Japanese doctor who responded to the new crown pneumonia epidemic, said “irregular” events in the current environment.

Another person in charge of a Japanese company that supports Tokyo’s bid for the Olympics said: “Japan should make every effort to make the Olympics as scheduled, and the government should speed up the launch of vaccines. But it should also prepare a plan B that is delayed by two to three months.”

The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The business community is deeply divided on whether the country should host the Olympics. Sun Zhengyi, founder of Softbank, and Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of e-commerce group Rakuten, are among the strongest opponents.

But even among sponsors, the company is in an awkward position, and the public strongly opposes it, making it difficult for them to promote the event.

Akio Toyoda, chief executive of global Olympic sponsor Toyota Motor Corporation, expressed disappointment Thursday at Japan’s slow progress in controlling Covid-19.

“This is a serious emergency… This requires crisis management,” Toyoda said. “The reality is that we are still in a period of anxiety and dissatisfaction.”

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