Tokyo 2020: The Global Language Monitor Finds That the Olympic Games Have Been Ambushed by COVID-19

Through its proprietary algorithms, a study conducted by the Global Language Monitor determined the Olympic Games themselves have a remarkable 84.5% correlation to the coronavirus and COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 Global Language Monitor - The Correlation Between Tokyo 2020 and the Coronavirus

​​​​​​​​​​​​As the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo fast approach, the threat of coronavirus is dominating the global conversation. The Global Language Monitor (GLM), an Austin-based data research firm that analyzes global trends across the world, helps companies discover how their brands are being perceived and how closely they are being associated with current events. In their exclusive ambush marketing analysis for the seventh consecutive Olympic Games, GLM has found that the Tokyo 2020 Games have themselves been ambushed by the coronavirus and COVID-19, with a remarkable 84.5% correlation to the coronavirus and COVID-19.

This means that in GLM’s global research data, out of every 100 references to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, more than 80 also contained a reference to the coronavirus and/or COVID-19. The study was concluded on March 16.

“In our studies over the years, we have found some remarkable ambushers from an animated cartoon character (Beijing 2008, Kung-fu Panda) to world leaders on the brink of a nuclear crisis (PyeongChang 2018, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump), but never did we imagine a global pandemic as an Olympic ambusher,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

Going a step further, the GLM study also includes an analysis on how closely brands and a number of their competitors are being affected by the coronavirus, which is a global concern in the lead up to the Tokyo Games. The information is critical in helping brands position themselves accordingly and adapt to the volatility of the situation as the threat of COVID-19 looms.

“We actually found a remarkable correlation between the coronavirus and the Worldwide Olympic Partners,” Payack continued. “A number of the Brands (and ambushers), actually had nearly as many citations linked to the coronavirus as to the Games themselves. In a few cases, citations to the coronavirus actually exceeded those to the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

Using the BAI™ (Brand Affiliation Index™), and the EAI™ (Entity Affiliation Index™) and other proprietary algorithms, GLM also determined which Tokyo sponsors are linked most closely to the Tokyo 2020 brand in its report. Panasonic had the highest BAI™ score of 20.479, meaning it had the top affiliation with the Tokyo 2020 brand. Proctor & Gamble had one of the lowest BAI™ scores of 1.142.

The study pulls data from an abundance of data points from across the Internet and the top 350,000 print, electronic news media outlets, and social networking sites, analyzing sentiment, context and a host of other factors to determine which Worldwide Olympic Partners are most closely associated with the Olympic Games, and which brands are being closely associated with the coronavirus pandemic or both. The findings are published in the Tokyo 2020 Ambush Marketing Report.

Tokyo 2020 sponsors are segmented by the amount they pay in fees to the (IOC) International Olympic Committee. The various classifications are Worldwide Olympic Partners, Olympic Gold Partners, Olympic Official Partners, Official Olympic Supporters. Though sponsorship fees are never officially acknowledged, the total, fully loaded, cost of a tier-one Olympic Sponsorship has been estimated to be as much as one billion USD ($1,000,000,000) over the course of a four-year Olympiad.

Partners’ competitors are also put under the microscope to determine the effectiveness of ambush marketing techniques. In Olympics past, opportunistic ambush marketers have leveraged the worldwide popularity of the Olympic Games without any sort of sponsorship, yet still maintained a high degree of association. The analysis helps provide insights that empower brands with leverage to determine whether their investment is worthwhile.

Early this March, the IOC Executive Board expressed its full commitment to the Tokyo Games, scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, reporting that all protective measures are being taken to address the coronavirus situation. This situation has steadily deteriorated.

To receive the complete Tokyo Olympics Ambush Marketing Report, please contact, specifying Toyko 2020 Report.

About Global Language Monitor

Based in Austin, Texas, the Global Language Monitor collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the English language. The company is known for its Word of the Year, political analysis, college and university rankings, high-tech buzzwords, and media analytics. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
​Paul JJ Payack

Source: The Global Language Monitor


Categories: Marketing

Tags: 2020 Summer Olympic Games, brand affiliation, brand equity, coronavirus, COVID-19, entity affiliation, marketing, Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics

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