Photo: Dan Mullan / Getty Images
The Tokyo Games are about to open this Friday in a very controversial context, with countless protests to cancel the event and thousands of volunteers who withdrew, as Japan confirmed that the Olympic Games would be held in a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, which implies an absence of public in the stadiums, CNN published Business.
According to an estimate by Takahide Kiuchi, an economist at the Nomura Research Institute, not having domestic viewers could cost Japan’s economy 146.8 billion yen ($ 1.3 billion).
Although in June the institute pointed out that “much of the expected economic benefit of the Tokyo Games disappeared in March, when it was decided to prohibit foreign spectators from traveling to Japan”, a measure that Kiuchi projected had already caused economic losses of $ 1.4 billion dollars.
The determination of the absence of the public was a blow to those who had bet on an increase in consumer spending, since so far more than 60 Japanese companies have spent a record of $ 3 billion in the Olympic Games this year, and now many of them are concerned about return on investment.
One of Japan’s most prominent business leaders says the Olympics are losing their commercial value.
Suntory CEO Takeshi Niinami told CNN Business that his company decided not to sponsor the upcoming Tokyo Games, arguing that it was “too expensive.”
“We thought about being an Olympic partner … but the economy did not coincide”said the head of the Japanese beverage company that owns brands like Orangina and Jim Beam bourbon.
Instead of signing up as an official sponsor, Suntory changed its strategy to link with restaurants and bars around sports venues to promote its beverages. “I thought this occasion would be a great showcase for us,” Niinami said. “I was expecting a lot of viewers from abroad to come.”
But the decision of the organizers not to allow the attendance of spectators to the venues of the Games in Tokyo for reasons of public health, ruled those plans and those of many other companies.
For Niinami the Japanese companies could have enjoyed a roughly 10% increase in sales if viewers had been allowed. “The economic losses will be enormous,” said the businessman, who stressed that the games had to be delayed at least two months.
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