Japanese global automotive manufacturer and chief sponsor for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Toyota Moto Corp., has withdrawn itself from being a part of all the TV commercials during the two-week long 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
As per reports, this bold decision from Toyota came as a result of protecting its brand image, especially within the country. There have been wide speculations and rumours about the Japanese people not being particularly happy on the staging of these Olympic Games. The reason for which has been the ongoing pandemic and putting so many people’s life at risk. Thus, Toyota understood the sentiments of their countrymen and has reportedly backed out at the last moment.
Originally, Toyota had prepared a full series of TV commercials with the athletes whom the company sponsors, and are a part of the Olympic Games. But eventually chose not to go ahead with their planned schedule. Following the withdrawal of Toyota, the rumours of many small and local brands also planning to do the same have surfaced. The small brands fear the backlash they might face from the audiences in future and as a result, lose out on a lot of revenue.
A combined amount of over $3 billion has been pumped in by more than 50 Japanese commercial powerhouses into the Olympics in Tokyo, which is by far the most by businesses of any host country. And with Toyota’s backing out, the impact will surely be felt as it is one of the main sponsors of the event. Alongside this decision, Toyota executives including CEO Akio Toyoda has also decided not to attend the opening ceremony on Friday, July 23.
The Games in Tokyo have been majorly hit by the Covid-19 crisis. After the initial postponement of the Olympics from last year, Tokyo is still suffering from the ongoing pandemic as it’s under a state of emergency with a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases. As per sources, the organizers have already reported more than 25 Covid-19 positive cases in the build-up to the games, and with thousands of athletes, journalists and organizers travelling to the city, the danger of an increasing emergency is looming high.
According to various surveys conducted within the country, more than half the population is not happy with the staging of the event. And to nobody’s surprise, more people are not even convinced of a proper organisation of the Olympic Games.
Other than organizational problems, the games and the sponsoring companies have also taken a financial hit, when the Organizing Committee along with the Government declared a ‘no fan zone’ during the Games. All fan-related marketing and engagements have been scrapped off, resulting in a major revenue loss. The Japanese beer company, Asahi Breweries, is one of the most affected sponsoring companies. It pumped in a whopping $135 million to become the chief beverage sponsor of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Overall, an estimation of around $2-3 billion expected through tourists, fans and recreational activities has mostly gone down the drain as the Games in Tokyo are steering down multiple losses coming their way. The most important of which is human life as a result of Covid-19.