Olympic Spirit at the POS

The Olympic Games in celebrate sporting excellence across 205 different countries. Over 10,000 athletes in 42 disciplines compete for 918 medals. After the football World Cup 2014 with its extensive media coverage, all eyes are once again on Brazil as it brings the diversity of this eagerly awaited and emotional mega event to the world.

Organisers expect 3.6 billion viewers worldwide to watch the action on giant screens, televisions, tablets, PCs and smartphones, while 7.5 million spectators will witness events live in the stadia. The Olympics also promise considerable action at the point of sale, through various promotional campaigns.


Just how the Olympics might look in store was the focus of discussion for around 40 designers from nine countries. Teams of designers from Russia, UK, Israel, Germany, Spain, Australia, the US, Hungary and Brazil worked on ideas and concepts that would convey the spirit of the Olympics at the point of sale. The output: over 130 concepts for different product groups and store formats. The designers drew inspiration from various sources: different sports, and iconic Olympic elements such as the flame and torch, as well as typical Brazilian themes.

Despite the cultural diversity and varied requirements of individual countries, the creative teams narrowed it down to five themes that are crucial to engage with the consumers at the POS:  

1. Create an emotional experience

POS that simply meets requirements is out. Excitement is the key – brands and products are showcased much more effectively when you create an emotional experience. The shopper must become part of the campaign at the POS and interact with the brand. For example, a ‘selfie station’ in store could be used to transport shoppers to the world of games; or playful elements could be integrated into the packaging. Have you ever tried playing ring toss with drinks cans?

2. Connect by making it personal

‘Made just for me!’ Customers love to feel valued. Unique, customised products or being able to configure products themselves helps to create a strong sense of identification with a product or brand. Digital printing opens up a whole new world of possibilities here. Individual athletes or sports can be showcased within a strong regional context. Is there anywhere in the world where people don’t root for local athletes or home teams? 

3. Grab attention with themed merchandising

Successful retailers no longer just sell individual products, they sell solutions; a set of products tailored to customer needs, helping to resolve their dilemmas. In the context of the Olympics, this might be: ‘What can I bring to the next party?’ Bringing different products together under a common theme enhances their overall visibility and increases the likelihood of purchase.

4. Customise displays for local requirements

Tailor-made, personalised concepts for different target groups or store formats increases campaign complexity and therefore costs. Using modular POS concepts allows marketing managers to avoid hidden costs, without limiting the use of creative elements. Standard displays, which can be used for a wide range of products and campaigns, can be transformed into eye-catchers for sports-based campaigns by using posters or decorative elements.

5. Go green and build trust

Responsible handling of products and resources: sustainability is all around us. Temporary themes such as the Olympics call for concepts that offer added value after the campaign ends, or which clearly can be sustainability produced. An example of this is a permanent display that converts into a bicycle rack once the products are sold out.

‘Mega sporting events,’ says Aleksandar Stojanovic, Chief Sales Officer of the STI Group, ‘present huge potential for both brand owners and retailers. Given the variety of sports and athletes in the Olympics, it is possible to develop highly personalised campaigns that engage shoppers at the POS. As a brand partner we want to help our customers achieve this.’