By Omulo Okoth
Traditionally, the Olympics is a forum for countries to display their talent; a world stage in which competitors’ success is a nation’s pride.
When the winners stand at the podium to receive their medals, the rest of the world as the winner’s country’s national anthem is sang.
As competitors took to the track for that kick that could hoist their country’s flag, other contenders were outside the field, winning different medals — in marketing their countries.
London was an opportunity for countries to display their offers to the millions of spectators at the Olympics from all over the world. They spent billions of shillings for this assignment.
For example, Nigeria set up camp at Royal Theatre, Newham, at a cost of $360 million (Sh30 billion). Their selling points were iconic Nigerian literature and oil.
Others too, spent billions of shillings to ensure their nations were marketed properly.
It is a rare opportunity to find so many nationalities gathered at the same venue — an exciting happening for any smart marketer.
So South Africa was at London Eye and Russia at Marble Arch where they paid £100 million (Sh8.4 billion).
Switzerland also paid millions of Swiss francs at Glaziers Hall, where they marketed their renowned brands like chocolate, restaurants, among others.
The UK was not to be left behind. At the Westfield City Stratford, where they paid £45 million (Sh5.8 billion).
Netherlands and Australia showcased their economy at different venues while Jamaica proudly displayed their music and food.