Going for Olympic car gold

Lanes marked for Olympic vehicles have irked London's cabbies and private motorists. Photo / AP
Lanes marked for Olympic vehicles have irked London's cabbies and private motorists. Photo / AP

With hundreds of millions of people around the globe watching the London Olympic Games, automakers are taking advantage of that massive audience to market their vehicles and sponsor athletes and teams.

BMW is the official automotive partner of the Olympics and is sponsoring a fleet of 3200 vehicles that will shuttle athletes and VIPs around London and, much to the chagrin of some Londoners, specially marked Olympic-only lanes will be available to the BMW fleet and other official Olympic traffic.

BMW also is a sponsor of the US track and field and swimming teams, providing training technology to help US long jumpers and swimmers prepare for the games.

American viewers will see a number of Beemers on the NBC broadcasts because BMW is the only import brand that will advertise during the games.

General Motors, meanwhile, secured exclusive domestic rights for the NBC broadcasts and will use the platform to launch a campaign for its new Cadillac ATS, which it hopes will compete with the BMW 3 Series.

And, with the star-laden US men's and women's basketball teams expected to run away with the gold medals, Jeep has attached itself to the teams and has used TV, print, social media and other advertising methods to promote the connection.

- Bloomberg

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