Every four years, the Summer Olympic Games (often known simply as the Olympics) come with powerful marketing campaigns that small business owners can learn from. Brands like Nike, Alibaba, and McDonald’s provide masterclasses in advertising and how to communicate effectively with their audience.

The 2024 Paris Olympics are right around the corner, and while you may not be a franchising giant (not yet, anyway), you can use the same advertising strategies to market to your customers.

Let’s break down the best Olympics marketing campaigns to look for this year and how you can apply them to your business.

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Best Olympic Marketing Campaigns

Here are five of the best seasonal marketing campaigns for the 2024 Olympics and what small business owners can learn from them.

1. Sephora – “Beauty and Sport”

Sephora recently announced its “Beauty and Sport” campaign, which will take place along the Olympic Torch Relay route. The torch is carried from Greece through the host country to the opening ceremonies. It’s so popular you can track the route on the Olympics website.

Along with its 50 shops along the route, Sephora is opening pop-up stores in major cities like Nice, Bordeaux, and Paris (where this year’s Summer Olympic Games will be held). These stores will offer games and prizes, such as tickets to different games.

Sephora will also provide makeovers to athletes who win Olympic events. They’ll have the option to visit a makeup artist before taking their place on the podium. It’s another reminder that Sephora is a reliable brand that even the world’s best athletes use.

sephora instagram olympic marketing campaign

You might not have a geographical advantage like Sephora has in France. But you can take advantage of live events in your area, too. Like Sephora, look for opportunities to inject your brand into the event experience. Use it as an opportunity to build brand awareness and promote your company in front of an audience that might not be familiar with you.

Pro Tip: You can use a CRM to invite customers to a live event.

2. PetSmart – “Team USA Pet Collection”

PetSmart is preparing for the Olympics by releasing a new summer product line. Olympics-themed toys and pet clothes are now available on its website throughout the 2024 games. Products range from hats to tracksuits and are located in a unique section of the online store:

petsmart website - ecommerce for the olympics

Aside from this being a timely product line, notice how PetSmart updated its website. Not only is there a clear section where you can find these toys, but you can easily spot new listings and the price of each.

This campaign provides two takeaways for small business owners. First, trendy products sell. These dog toys aren’t any better or worse than PetSmart’s other products. The brand isn’t promoting quality or low prices; they’re promoting something cool and relevant to pop culture.

The other lesson is that your website matters. Online stores convert web traffic into sales, but poor site experience impacts revenue and brand perception. Most customers will judge your brand’s credibility based on the design of your website alone.

If you have a website, be sure to keep it updated. It could be the difference between making a sale and pushing someone to a competitor.

3. Bridgestone  – “Team Bridgestone”

As an official sponsor, Bridgestone has put together “Team Bridgestone” for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Team Bridgestone is a group of 40 Olympic athletes who will represent Bridgestone as brand ambassadors. These athletes will be featured in marketing content, customer events, and community activities leading into the summer games.

bridgestone olympic marketing campaign


Team Bridgestone also features 20 Paralympic athletes. Bridgestone has partnered with these athletes to produce gloves, wheelchair hand rims, prosthetic running blades, spike plates, and other sporting equipment using materials from its tires.

Bridgestone gets an A+ for this marketing campaign. It sponsored the Olympics and took things a step further by finding a creative way to stamp its name on the fan experience. It also repurposed a resource it had plenty of (tires) to add more value.

Small business owners can do the same. A great example is a taproom at a brewery. Beer gets brewed in a big warehouse, where space is plentiful. Breweries repurpose this resource by turning it into a taproom – or a space where they can sell beer. This space serves a purpose by building brand awareness, giving people more accessibility to the beer, and creating an experience for customers.

4. LVHM – “The Rooftops”

LVHM is the conglomerate that owns luxury brands like Louis Vuitton. For its Olympics marketing campaign, it released a video showing French athletes getting ready on rooftops throughout Paris.

In addition to sponsoring athletes, LVHM will partner with different charities across France to give thousands of kids access to youth sports.

LVHM is doing a great job of showing business owners how to break into a new market. It focuses on getting in front of an audience that might be familiar with the brand, but might not often shop for it. Rather than pushing products or traditional messaging, LVHM tries to meet customers on a personal level, appealing to their interests in sports and charitable giving.

This campaign makes you think more of LVHM than an inaccessible luxury brand. It humanizes the company and makes you like it for more than just its products.

Pro Tip: CEO Bryant Goodall explains how to build an effective marketing message in this video.

5. Airbnb – “Host the World”

Airbnb is helping athletes compete with its “Host the World” campaign. It’s giving away a $2K travel grant to athletes training for the Olympics and Paralympics, and a $500 housing credit, so they can take time off and explore new places.

Airbnb is also sourcing housing for the Olympic games, running a massive campaign in France to encourage people to sign up as Airbnb hosts.

Small business owners can take a page from Airbnb’s book regarding timely promotions. Not only does it make a compelling case for signing up as a host, but it’s also giving athletes more buying power within its app. These athletes have hundreds of dollars in credits for Airbnb and need hosts in France to stay with this summer.

Small business owners can look into producing similar promotions that create this sense of an immediate need for their product or service.

How to Create Gold-Medal Marketing Campaigns

The Olympics are a great opportunity for athletes and businesses to shine.

Your marketing campaign may not be as big as the ones above – and that’s okay. The takeaway is that the best brands creatively leverage their resources. Sephora took advantage of being on the Torch route, Bridgestone repurposed its inventory, and Airbnb supplied a solution to a timely demand.

Your brand can do the same. Look for opportunities to solve problems and add convenience to your customers’ lives. If that’s not possible, try to create something cool and trendy that captures people’s attention. If all else fails, circle back here for more ideas from which your business can draw inspiration this summer.

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