A Silhouette of Olympic Golf: Will Spieth’s Absence Hurt Coke?

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By: Arin Segal, @arinsegal

Rio clearly has some issues and over the past few months, star athletes have been pulling out of their events. While I have faith that Rio will at least pull it together to an extent by next month, I understand why some have chosen not to attend the games. One of the topics to come in a recent Twitter chat was what the impact of Jordan Spieth not participating would be for Coke.

For the golf world, the Olympics isn’t considered one of the ‘big’ events, since 2016 will be the first time in 112 years it makes an appearance at the games. In fact, many of the top ranked players have pulled out for a few reasons, although most have cited health concerns or a dislike of the Olympic Golf rules and playing structure.

Had it been Alex Morgan or Nathan Adrian pulling out of the games, this would be an entirely different article. None the less, Speith was slated to be part of the ‘six-pack’ of athletes themed campaign and while the brand has pulled some of the special cans and marketing materials, according to AdAge there are still some Olympic specific marketing materials that will feature Speith’s image. Some materials that would have featured the image of Spieth will now simply feature a silhouette of a golfer.

So what impact will this have on Coke? Well, it does mean that they have one less official athlete to push content around, but with the PGA Championships around the corner and the British Open recently finishing, there is plenty of ability for Coke to push content featuring Spieth and capitalize on their sponsorship. At this point, it is more of a short term financial loss that won’t play as large of an impact on the overall deal as it would had Spieth pulled from an event like the British Open.

These, however, are simply the thoughts I have on the topic and would love to hear yours! Drop a comment or tweet me with your opinions.