Yes, the Games are very nearly upon us. No doubt, this plucky nation will surmount the hurdles already placed in its path - the weather, the transport delays, and the security (or the lack of it) - and reach for a podium position.
As for business, it is the sponsors who will be expecting to strike gold. Will their plans be ambushed by their competitors?
Major sporting events have often proved to be lucrative opportunity for ambush marketing. You may recall the incident at South Africa’s World Cup 2010 which saw 36 Dutch women, wearing identical orange dresses, being detained by the police. The women appeared to be promoting Dutch beer, Bavaria, and, much to the annoyance of FIFA and the official sponsor, Budweiser, generated headlines for that brand everywhere.
Is the world of banking immune from such underhand stunts?
Well, it appears not. Canada’s Scotiabank sailed close to the wind during 2010’s Winter Olympics when it ran a TV campaign featuring an Olympic ice hockey champ, a profusion of the national colours and a red Maple leaf. The organisers urged the bank to postpone the campaign as it considered it would undermine the value of Royal Bank of Canada’s official sponsorship.
Some words of caution for those tempted to engage in some skullduggery. The UK government has given a pledge to the IOC to come down hard on those involved in ambush marketing - the Games are after all being bankrolled by the sponsors. Penalties for those caught in the act may include an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.