Can The Pan Am Games Survive?

The State of Victoria, Australia announced that it was potentially withdrawing from hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2026, citing budget and ROI concerns.

These Games, open to 72 Commonwealth nations/countries, are remarkably similar in format to the Olympic and Pan Am Games, which are all held every 4 years.

The Pan Ams, involving 41 countries, will be held in Santiago, Chile for the first time ever from October 25-November 5 this year with the Olympics in Paris, July 26–August 11, 2024.

As a Commonwealth Games medalist, I can assure readers that every competition of this stature on a worldwide stage -- even if not as preeminent in the past -- provides incredible motivation to compete “higher and faster.” It also generates deep enthusiasm for event fans, which offers tremendous marketing opportunities for brands. 



So, with hosting costs of multi-sport global events escalating beyond the financial capacities of countries and local governments, can the Pan Ams survive -- or will they suffer the same fate in today’s substantially changed worldwide sporting-event calendar? 

While well-known global brands such as Coca-Cola, VISA, Toyota and P&G, et al. have provided extensive support to these global events, too many other brands are surely missing unique high-impact opportunities that will help in continuing to make these events possible. 

Advertising cornerstones include resonant environment, context, propensity and propinquity.

For many brands, sponsorship of these events and a focus on a relevant synergistic sport can deliver these attributes in spades along with so many more spinoffs. 

But where can such an incremental brand investment come from? From an advertising perspective, the prime opportunity would be cutting the wasted ad impressions that typically deliver far too much frequency versus brand target group reach in “poor” media environments. 

Such modifications would specifically include impressions that may be rendered on a surface -- so-called "viewable impressions" -- but generate significantly fewer actual contacts or eyes/ears-on -- or, even more important, impressions that do not deliver high “attention” levels; or that appear in well-known toxic social media environments.

Your media/sponsorship agency will walk you through the details!

The 2027 Pan Ams is scheduled for Barranquilla, a vibrant, buzzing, and lively city in Colombia. Will global advertisers provide the full support essential to its success and give so many athletes, even those that do not make their Pan Am national teams, the motivation to earn the spotlight? 

I suggest that managed exquisitely, advertised brands within such sporting environments and endeavors, will drive impactful brand effects. Thoughts?


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