Musicians and the Olympics - Who Does The Relationship Benefit?

The last Olympic metal awarded in the category of music was 1952.  That's right, 1952 ended forty years of Olympic Sporting Arts.  Even without a metal event, music continues to impact the culture of the Olympic games.  From the opening and closing ceremony's, to the television broadcasts, to the live performances occurring at official Olympic events around London -- Music is key to capturing the Olympic spirit. While Paul McCartney can afford to play the Olympics for one pound in compensation, many other working musicians and artists simply can't afford such a generous donation to the games.  The question that musicians, the music unions and trade magazines are asking, is should the working musician have to donate their time?  In fact, news reports state the British Musician's Union reached a deal regarding the headliners at the Opening and Closing ceremony's playing for free and requiring compensation for other professional musicians.

So you're thinking - "The musicians should play for all the free publicity."  In fact, many bands perform free shows for that reason.  Not so with the Olympics.  The musicians are restricted in promoting their "Olympic" gig and are not allowed to sell their own merch at the show.  Pride of country can only feed you so many meals....

Here's a round-up of conversations on the topic.

Billboard - Dispute Between London Olympics ...

LA Times - Are Organizers Not Willing To Pay...

Link to petition for musicians to be paid

More from the Musicians' Union

Ambush Marketing & Social Networking at London Olympics 2012 Part 1

Every great sporting event brings out ambush marketers.  From the Super Bowl to the World Series to the Olympics, brands jockey for news coverage and exposure.  Ambush marketing is the act of a product or service trying to attach itself to a big event without being an official sponsor of the event -- and without paying the big bucks of sponsorship. While VISA® "Is Everywhere," some brands only shine during their moments of ambush.  As consumers we expect a certain quality of product from the official sponsors.  The official sponsors invest a lot of money, energy and time in hopefully delivering a quality product or service.

Here's a round-up of articles on ambush marketing popping up a few weeks prior to the 2012 Games:

  • Bloggers at the London games have been warned that "Participants and other accredited persons are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise on any social media platforms or on any websites," the IOC said.