Like the War on Terror or sleeping with your boss, it must have seemed like a good idea at the time. The Beijing summer games will reach an estimated four billion television viewers, over one billion more than tuned in to Athens in '04. According to one study, Chinese sports fans are 68% more likely to buy brands that sponsor the games. That's 1.3 billion consumers right there, even allowing for imprisoned dissidents. Who wouldn't want their brand associated with that money-making factory?
My heart goes out to the poor bastard who trained his whole life to earn the right to carry that torch, only to be physically attacked as a symbol of human rights violations. No wonder sponsors are feeling a bit skittish. Who wants to be The Official Soft Drink of The Genocide Olympics?
Here's a thought. If you really have your heart set on dragging your multi-billion-dollar brand through the mud, why not give us the money? For the comparatively low, low cost of just five million dollars Canadian! Jamie and I will personally deliver $50 million worth of PR disasters. We're talking bargain basement Buddhist beatings. At no extra charge, we will also arrange for Mia Farrow to compare you to a Nazi collaborator in the Wall Street Journal. This is a limited time offer, so act now!
P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, Toronto was the runner-up in the bid for the 2008 games. I couldn't have been happier when we lost, though. Finding a parking space downtown sucks enough as it is.
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