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Tokyo Olympic Hospitality Sponsors Explore Digital Replacement Experiences

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mid heavy restrictions and public backlash surrounding the Tokyo Olympic Games, hospitality sponsors are reportedly exploring different ways of providing unique experiences for their customers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic reducing the amount of people travelling to Japan for the Olympic Games, hospitality sponsors who offer a wide range of unique programs for international corporate and personal consumers, have had to re-think how they will deliver these packages.

According to Sport Business, International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors are exploring alternatives including “elements such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences, and specially-created meals and gifts delivered to hospitality recipients abroad.”

Sport Business report sports and entertainment agency, Octagon is creating alternative ways for consumers to enjoy the Tokyo Olympics with agency director Japan, Ken Maki, explaining some of their ideas.

“We are trying to create video-orientated, VR and AR content so guests can feel that they are inside the stadiums, hotels or showcasing venues, so they can taste the event,” Maki said.

“At the same time, we will send out physical gifts or a physical element such as cuisine…” he said.

Nielsen Sports in Asia head of consulting and research, Nicholas Bruce, told Sport Business previous hospitality programmes have been “amazing” but this year won’t be anywhere near as big.

“The hospitality programmes are amazing, not just because of the hotels and the sport you get to see, but also the way in which brands integrate their products and showcases,” Bruce said.

“These programmes take months of planning and contracts with hotels, transportation companies, staff need to be signed in advance.

“It’s impossible for an international sponsor to react during the games.

“I think there will still be some hospitality [this year], but it’s not going to be anywhere near the same scale as it would have been if the pandemic hadn’t happened,” he said.

Bruce told Sport Business this could be an opportunity for companies to change how they deliver these packages now and in the future.

“This is a great opportunity for brands to try and deliver different things,” Bruce said.

“In future, do they need to bring guests in from all around the world?

“Maybe not.

“And if they do, what can they also do more of; ‘we’ll send you a hamper, we’ll send you a personal chef, we’ll send you a VR headset, we’ll run a really premium event in-market rather than getting you to travel halfway around the world’…?”

With the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing expected to begin six months after the Tokyo Olympic Games, sponsors will be keeping a close eye on the what the alternative packages can deliver.