The 2028 Olympics is still 9 year away but it’s not stopping Olympic organizers from selling sponsorships now. In two months, Los Angeles 2028 will launch the largest single sponsorship sales effort in American sports history.
Its target: $2.5 billion in domestic deals, an expression of Chairman Casey Wasserman’s confidence that corporate America will eagerly underwrite the first American Summer Games since 1996 at a handsome premium.
“We’ve got the first Summer Olympics in the United States in a generation coming to one of the most important global cities, with a time horizon that no one’s ever had,” said Wasserman.
The number is attention-grabbing that’s for sure, but it’s not unreasonable. Tokyo 2020 organizers already have eclipsed $3 billion, and the International Olympic Committee has signed five new global sponsors in the last four years at big increases. Still, there are many headwinds.
LA28 will be competing for corporate money with the 2026 FIFA World Cup, celebrations around the 250th birthday of the United States and the emerging world of esports and gaming, not to mention all of the leagues and college properties. Olympic sponsorships include few of the standard assets typically sold across American pro sports. And the opening ceremony is more than nine years away — twice as long as the tenure of the average CMO.
“This is by no means a slam dunk,” said Michael Lynch, the former Visa Olympics marketer who now heads global sports and entertainment consulting for Nielsen. “$2.5 billion is a big number, and it’s going to be a big number for many of the companies that have historically supported the U.S. Olympic movement.”